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Drug-Free Workplace Policy and Program Template

Arkansas Drug Testing Laws and Regulations

State: Arkansas
Arkansas Drug Testing Law:

The State of Arkansas supports employers who desire to maintain a drug-free workplace. Although employer compliance is voluntary, the state rewards employers who apply and maintain a drug-free workplace program with incentives such as discounts on employees’ compensation insurance premium. Arkansas drug testing procedures are explicitly described in the state code §11.14.101 - §11.14.112. It is beneficial for employers, employee and prospective employees to know about these provisions.

Statute of Order:

Arkansas Code §11.14.101 - §11.14.112

Covered Employers:

All employers

Applicant Testing:
  • Employers with the established drug policy may randomly test applicants, within the bounds of the provisions set by Arkansas Code §11.14.101 - §11.14.112.
  • Job applicants may be tested only after a conditional job offer has been made.
Employee Testing:

Employers are permitted to conduct drug and alcohol testing for employees after establishing a drug-free workplace policy in accordance to the standards set by §11.14.112.

Conditions and Methods:

Section 11.14.104 states that:

  • Random drug testing of employees is permitted under reasonable suspicion.
  • For employees holding safety-sensitive positions, random testing for alcohol impairment in the workplace is allowed.
  • For employees not holding safety-sensitive positions, random alcohol impairment testing is allowed under the grounds of reasonable suspicion.
  • Employers are allowed to conduct random drug test to all employees.
Important Bullet Points:
  • It is imperative for employers to provide employees and prospective employees written copies of the policy.
  • Drug and alcohol policy statement must include the following details (§11.14.105):
  • Information on the type of drug and alcohol tests to be used.
  • Basis for testing such as reasonable suspicions.
  • Consequences of a positive result on the part of the employee or prospective employee.
  • Statement of confidentiality regarding test results.
  • Statement of the right of employees and prospective employees to explain a positive result, such as the use of prescription or legal non-prescription drug that may have affected the result.
  • Consequences of refusal to submit to drug and alcohol testing, both for employees and prospective employees.
  • A list of drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities with complete contact information.
  • Procedure and time table in which an applicant or employee can contest a confirmed positive result.
  • Implementation of the drug-free workplace policy must be done after 60 days from the date of the policy announcement.
  • Employers’ drug and alcohol policy must be posted in conspicuous areas.
  • Job vacancy notices must clearly state the drug and alcohol testing policy for jobs that require testing.
  • Under §11.14.106, employers are permitted to conduct drug and alcohol testing under the following circumstances:
  • Drug and alcohol testing for a job applicant with a conditional job offer.
  • Reasonable suspicion of an employee being under the influence of drug or alcohol during working hours.
  • Routine fitness for employees holding positions that affect the safety and security of customers, clients, minors and the general public.
  • Follow up testing for employees who entered a rehabilitation program. Follow up testing must be conducted without prior notification to the employee.
  • Post-accident testing is conducted to rule out drug and alcohol impairment which may have caused the accident at the workplace.
  • Employers are discouraged from taking actions against an employee or prospective employee on the basis of unconfirmed positive results.
  • Employers must pay all the costs for drug and alcohol tests that they require.
  • Employers are not required to provide drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs to employees who tested positive.
  • If the employer wants to subject an employee to drug and alcohol testing based on reasonable suspicion, the employer must make a written and detailed report to be kept confidentially. An employee has the right to ask for a copy of such report.
  • Employers are permitted to discipline or terminate employees and disqualify applicants based on confirmed positive drug and alcohol tests.
  • Only laboratories certified by the US Department of Health and Human Services are permitted to evaluate and confirm evaluations of test specimens.
Medical Marijuana Law:

On November 8, 2016 Arkansas approved, via a 53.17% to 46.83% vote, an initiative towards the use of medical marijuana. The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2016 Issue 6 took effect on November 9, 2016 and now allows patients who are seriously ill to procure and use marijuana for medical purposes as approved by their doctors.

Qualifying Medical Conditions

• ALS

• Alzheimer's disease

• Cancer

• Crohn's disease

• Fibromyalgia

• Glaucoma

• Hepatitis C

• HIV/AIDS

• PTSD

• Severe arthritis

• Tourette's syndrome

• Ulcerative colitis

• Other chronic debilitating medical conditions that cause:

cachexia

• peripheral neuropathy

• severe nausea

• severe and persistent muscle spasms

• seizures

• intractable pain that have remained unresponsive to treatment even after 6 months

    • Other medical conditions approved by the Department of Health

The amendment will allow for the establishment of 4-8 duly licensed cultivation facilities (home cultivation is not allowed) and up to 40 dispensaries regulated by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division.  

Limitations

•Using cannabis in public places like daycare centers, schools, alcohol or drug treatment centers, youth centers, correctional facilities and other public areas is still illegal.

• Driving or operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana is still illegal.

• It is still illegal for any person to use cannabis if they do not have a qualifying medical condition.

• Landlords are allowed to prohibit smoking marijuana on-site.

Effects on Workplace Drug Testing

Lifted verbatim from the full text of Issue 6, below is a summary of provisions relevant to workplace drug testing.

• Section 1 - 3- (f)(3): An employer shall not discriminate against an individual in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment, or otherwise penalize an individual, based upon the individual's past or present status as a qualifying patient or designated caregiver.  

Qualifying patients applying for a job need not be concerned about their employment prospects as long as they meet the requirements and qualifications set forth by hiring managers. Likewise, qualifying patients who are currently employed need not be concerned about their employment status for as long as they adhere to the organization's drug-free workplace policy. They are protected by this amendment from being discriminated upon just because they need and use marijuana for their medical conditions.

• Section 1 - 6- (2): This amendment does not require an employer to accommodate the ingestion of marijuana in a workplace or an employee working while under the influence of marijuana.  

Employers do not necessarily get the short end of the stick with this amendment to the state's marijuana law. It does not require employers to go as far as allowing employees to use marijuana while at work or to show up for work while under the influence. Drug-free workplace policies remain in effect in the interest of maintaining employee performance, safety and productivity.  

Sources:  

https://www.mpp.org/states/arkansas/overview-arkansass-medical-marijuana-amendment/

http://ag.arkansas.gov/opinions/docs/2016-007.pdf

For Further Reading:  

https://ballotpedia.org/Arkansas_Medical_Marijuana_Amendment,_Issue_6_(2016)

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Material on these pages (state drug testing laws and drug testing regulations) is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, medical or technical advice. This drug testing related information is not intended as substitute for obtaining legal advice from attorney, or a relevant medical technical or financial professional. TestCountry is not a law firm or a legal agency, therefore cannot guarantee the accuracy of this content. Drug testing laws are collected from legal and/or state sources, and it may or may not be valid by the time you are viewing it. Any views or opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Confirm Biosciences Inc. DBA TestCountry.

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