With our new President – Donald Trump, we hope the economy will grow. This means a boost for the drug testing industry. Our drug testing industry has always prospered when the economy grows.
As the economy grows, more trucks will be on the road. This means more drug testing of DOT regulated truck drivers. The airlines will be busier hiring more staff that means more drug testing as FAA regulated employees are required to have drug testing programs.
25 million jobs over the next decade will surely mean more drug testing. Perhaps as many as 1 million additional drug tests each year moving forward. Remember that in the past few years drug abuse has increased so employers for sure need to be careful about who they are hiring and conduct pre-employment testing.
President elect Trump has touted his infrastructure plan as a top priority — even mentioning it in his election-night victory speech. Steve Bannon says that this is a great opportunity to rebuild everything; shipyards, ironworks and more.
The biggest boom for the drug testing industry under President Trump will be from his proposed infrastructure bill, a $1 trillion upgrade of the nation’s roads, bridges, tunnels and airports. These will be Federal and State Funded projects. It is important to take note of the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 which requires employers working on Federal and State Funded projects to implement drug free workplace programs.
The Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 will require employers working on the infrastructure contracts to implement drug free workplace programs. All employers covered by the law are subject to suspension of payments, termination of the contract, suspension or debarment if the head of the contracting agency determines that the employer has made any type of false certification to the contracting office, has not fulfilled the requirements of the law, or has excessive drug violation convictions in the workplace. Penalties may also be imposed upon those employing a number of individuals convicted of criminal drug offenses as this demonstrates a lack of good faith effort to provide a drug-free workplace.
This will be huge for the drug testing industry. Companies receiving contracts from the Federal Government will need assistance from professional drug testing third party administrators (TPA’s). The requirements these employers must meet will include:
- Publishing a statement informing all covered employees that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance is prohibited in the covered workplace, and what actions will be taken against employees in the event of violations of such statement.
- Providing ALL covered employees with a copy of the above-described statement, including the information that as a condition of employment on the Federal contract or grant, the employee must abide by the terms and conditions of the policy statement. For Federal contractors, this encompasses employees involved in the performance of the contract.
- Establishing a continuing, drug-free awareness program to inform employees of the dangers of drug abuse; the company’s drug-free workplace policy; the penalties for drug abuse violations occurring in the workplace; the availability of any drug counseling, rehabilitation, and/or employee assistance plans offered through the employer.
- Requiring each employee directly involved in the work of the contract or grant to notify the employer of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace not less than five (5) calendar days after such conviction. Notifying the Federal agency with which the employer has the contract or grant of any such conviction within ten (10) days after being notified by an employee or any other person with knowledge of a conviction.
- Requiring the imposition of sanctions or remedial measures, including termination, for an employee convicted of a drug abuse violation in the workplace. These sanctions may be participation in a drug rehabilitation program if so stated in the company policy.
- Continuing to make a “good-faith” effort to comply with all of the requirements as set forth in the Drug-Free Workplace Act.
To meet the above requirements these employers will need to implement and maintain comprehensive drug free workplace programs. Drug-free workplace programs can help employers create safe, cost-effective, and healthy workplaces. Most successful drug-free workplace programs have five key components:
- A written policy
- Employee education
- Supervisor training
- An employee assistance program (EAP)
- Drug testing
Joe Reilly & Associates, Inc and our affiliated company National Drug Screening, Inc can assist employers with compliance with the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1998. It will be important to implement these programs prior to submitting bids for these new infrastructure projects.
The Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988 was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan