Illinois drug testing locations
Illinois drug testing laws
Illinois does not have a statute or regulation generally addressing drug testing of employees and applicants by private employers. However, Illinois law requires that employers working under a public works contract have a written program in place for drug testing employees. In addition, the Illinois Human Rights Act, which makes it unlawful for employers in Illinois to discriminate based on disability, addresses permissible drug testing.
Drug testing for public works contractors
Illinois’ Substance Abuse Prevention on Public Works Project Act covers employers who are contractors or subcontractors performing a public works project. Before beginning work on a public works project, an employer must have a written substance abuse prevention program in place which:
- prohibits employees from using, possessing, distributing, delivering, or being under the influence of any drug or alcohol while performing work on a public works project;
- requires employees performing work on a public works project to submit to pre-hire, random, reasonable suspicion, and post-accident drug and alcohol testing;
- includes a procedure for notifying an employee who violates the program’s prohibition, who tests positive for a drug, or who refuses to submit to required drug or alcohol testing that the employee may not perform work on a public works project until he or she meets certain conditions.
The written program must be made available to the general public.
All drug and alcohol testing must be performed by a laboratory that is certified for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration of the federal Department of Health and Human Services.
All substance abuse prevention programs must contain at least a nine-panel urine drug test plus a test for alcohol. Testing an employee’s blood may only be used for post-accident testing; however, blood testing is not mandatory where a urine test is sufficient.
An employee is considered to be under the influence of alcohol if the alcohol concentration in his or her blood or breath is at or above 0.02.
Reasonable suspicion testing
According to Illinios law, an employee whose supervisor has reasonable suspicion to believe the employee is under the influence of alcohol or a drug is:
- subject to discipline, up to and including suspension;
- required to undergo an alcohol or drug test.
“Reasonable suspicion” means a belief, based on behavioral observations or other evidence, sufficient to lead a prudent or reasonable person to suspect an employee is under the influence. Symptoms an employer can watch for include slurred speech, erratic behavior, decreased motor skills, or other such traits.
An employee who is thought to be under the influence of alcohol or a drug must be removed from the job site and placed on inactive status pending the employer’s receipt of the test results. Under no circumstances may the employee be allowed to operate a vehicle or other equipment for any purpose.
The employer who is requiring reasonable suspicion testing must provide transportation for the employee to the testing facility and may send a representative to accompany the employee. The employee has the right to request a representative or designee to be present at the time of testing. If the test result is positive for drugs or alcohol, the employee is subject to termination. If the test result is negative, the employee must be placed on active status and put back to work. Following a negative test result, the employee must be paid for all lost time, including all time needed to complete the testing and any overtime according to the employee’s contract.
Also according to state law, an employer must perform substance abuse testing on any employee who caused, contributed to, or was otherwise involved in an accident. The law defines an accident as an incident that:
- resulted in death, personal injury or property damage;
- occurred while the employee was performing work on a public works project.
Employee access to project
An employer must immediately remove an employee from work on a public works project if:
- the employee is found to have used, possessed, distributed, delivered, or be under the influence of any drug or alcohol while performing work on a public works project;
- the employee tests positive for a drug or refuses to submit to required drug or alcohol testing; o
- an officer or employee of the contracting agency, preferably one trained to recognize drug and alcohol abuse, has a reasonable suspicion that the employee is under the influence and requests the employer to immediately remove the employee for reasonable suspicion testing.
An employee who is barred or removed from work on a public works project may return to work only after the employer provides to the contracting agency documentation showing all of the following:
- that the employee has tested negative for drugs and is not under the influence of alcohol;
- that the employee has been approved to return to work;
- drug and alcohol testing and the handling of test specimens were conducted in accordance with federal guidelines.
Upon successfully completing a rehabilitation program, an employee must be reinstated to his or her former employment status, if work exists for which he or she is qualified.
Here are three facts to know about Illinois’ employee drug testing laws:
- Illinois has drug testing laws for state employees, but there are also laws prohibiting workers from drug use with whom the state is contracting. Illinois’ Substance Abuse Prevention on Public Works Project Act requires employees working on public works projects to submit to drug and alcohol testing before starting work and randomly during the project. Workers suspected of using drugs or alcohol on the job can be disciplined or suspended until a test is taken. The employer is required to administer a substance abuse test after a workplace accident. Any worker who fails the test must be terminated. Illinois law also mandates that any employer with 25 or more employees and receives a state grant of $5,000 or more must have a drug-free work environment. The law does not require drug testing, but employers who violate the law may lose their state funding.
- Any employer can require its employees to take a drug test, but it cannot require the employees to pay for the test. Violation of this state law could result in a fine of as much as $100 per offense.
- The Illinois Human Rights Act, which protects employees from workplace discrimination, neither encourages nor prohibits employee drug testing. The law expressly says that drug use does not qualify as a protected disability, though employees going through a drug rehabilitation program and no longer using drugs are protected.