2600 Employee Health Service
2620 (B) Drug and Alcohol Testing
.110 General Information
.111 The Employee Health Service, at the request of state agencies, will conduct testing for alcohol and controlled substance abuse for employees and prospective employees. The Policy on Alcohol and Controlled Substances in the Work Place from the Governor's Office of Employee Relations, dated December 7, 1995, states "Use and abuse of alcohol and drugs has a detrimental effect on the productivity, attendance and health of our work force. As a public employer, we must be vigilant to protect the safety and welfare of the public with whom we interact and the employees with whom we work."
.112 Location—Drug and alcohol testing are conducted at the EHS medical examination centers and at the offices of EHS consulting physicians in following cities: Binghamton, Buffalo, Elmira, New York City, Plattsburgh, Poughkeepsie, Rochester, Stony Brook, Syracuse, Utica, Watertown, and White Plains. Tests may also be conducted at nursing stations and by special arrangements at several specimen collection sites located across the State.
- As stated in the GOER policy, testing of employees is authorized under Section 72 of the Civil Service Law when the agency has a reasonable suspicion that the employee is unable to perform the essential functions of his or her position as a result of an impairment caused by alcohol abuse or controlled substance abuse. The responsibility for demonstrating reasonable suspicion rests with the employer.
- Agencies may, as part of the preplacement process, conduct tests to detect illegal use of drugs with GOER approval. As the American with Disabilities Act does not consider drug testing to be a medical examination, a candidate or applicant can be required to take a drug test before a conditional offer of employment is made.
- Employees can also be required to take a drug test when required by law. For example, the Omnibus Transportation Employee Act of 1991 requires periodic testing of certain employees.
- The role of the Employee Health Service in drug and alcohol testing is to arrange for the collection and laboratory analysis of the specimen, review and interpret the results, and communicate with the agency about the test outcome.
- If specified on the job announcement, applicants are responsible for payment of laboratory fees associated with preplacement drug screens. Agencies may elect to pay the preplacement drug screening fee instead of the employee or candidate. Agencies are responsible for guaranteeing payment of fees for laboratory drug screens for employees.
- In certain circumstances, agencies may make arrangements with EHS to have employees tested for alcohol and/or controlled substance abuse during nonbusiness hours under Section 72 of the Civil Service Law and based on reasonable suspicion.
.411 Preplacement—Where a state agency wishes to conduct preplacement drug and alcohol screening, these tests must be conducted for all prospective employees in that job title. If an agency wishes to have these tests conducted by the Employee Health Service, they must contact the EHS Medical Director to request such screenings. Clearance to perform preplacement drug screening must also be obtained from GOER. In most cases these tests will be performed at the time of the preplacement examination.
.412 Agency Referrals (Section 72 and Stipulation of Settlements)—When an agency believes that an individual should be tested, the Section 72 procedures outlined in Section 2620(A) SPMM must be followed to refer an individual to EHS. If the request is made pursuant to a stipulation or other agreement between the employee and the agency, a copy of the agreement must be submitted with the request. A written or faxed request must be submitted to the EHS Medical Director. EHS will notify the agency of the date and location of the examination.
At the time of examination, the employee will be asked to sign an authorization consisting of two parts and/or a release and disclosure form. The first part of the authorization is an approval for EHS to administer the test. EHS will not administer the test without the employee's authorization. The second part of the authorization and/or the release and disclosure form allows EHS to disclose the specific test results to the referring agency. If an employee fails to authorize EHS to release test results, EHS will not provide the results to the agency.
.413 After-Normal Business Hours Testing—Agencies requiring alcohol and/or controlled substance testing during nonbusiness hours must contact the EHS Medical Director at (518) 233-3100 to make such arrangements.
.421 Preplacement—Test results will be reported to the employee and to the agency that made the conditional offer of employment.
422 Agency Referrals (Section 72)—Test results will be reported to the employee and to the agency if the employee authorizes release of the information.
TM-63; July 2008
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