Louisiana drug testing locations
Louisiana drug testing laws
Has your Louisiana employer or prospective employer asked you to take a drug test? Federal law places few limits on employer drug testing. Although the federal government requires testing by employers in a few safety-sensitive industries (including transportation, aviation, and contractors with NASA and the Department of Defense), federal law doesn’t otherwise require – or prohibit drug tests. For the most part, state and local laws determine whether an employer may test employees and applicants for drugs.
Louisiana law allows employers to require applicants to take a drug test as a condition of employment. An employer must use certified laboratories and specified procedures for testing if it will base its hiring decisions on the results of the test.
An employer may test employees for drugs (except in the industries of oil drilling, exploration, or production). An employer that will take negative action against an employee based on a positive test result must use certified laboratories and specified procedures for testing.
An employee with a confirmed positive drug test result may request all records relating to the test within seven working days. An employer may (but is not required to) allow an employee who tests positive to undergo rehabilitation rather than termination of employment.
Defamation—An employee might have a valid claim for defamation if the employer publicizes a false positive result, if the employer acts in bad faith and knew (or should have known) that the result was incorrect.
Alcohol testing procedures
- Evidential Breath Testing Devices (EBT) approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be used by certified Breath Alcohol Technicians to determine the presence of alcohol in the employee’s system.
- The employee will be advised of the results of the breath screening test. No further testing will be required if the test results are negative. If the screening test is positive for the presence of alcohol, a confirmation test will be performed within twenty minutes, but not less than fifteen minutes of completion of the screening test. If the confirmatory test indicates a blood alcohol concentration in violation of this policy, the results will be reported as positive to DNR’s designated representative.
- An employee occupying a Safety-Sensitive Position will be immediately removed from performing Safety-Sensitive functions in the event of a positive alcohol test.
- Positive test results will also be reported to the appointing authority whenever an employee refuses to complete or sign the breath alcohol confirmation testing form, provide breath or an adequate amount of breath (excluding medical inability), or fails to cooperate with the testing procedure in any way that prevents completion of the test.
The use or possession of Illegal Drugs, as defined in this policy, or use of alcohol in violation of this policy will not be tolerated. While the Department’s position is firm, we will resolve any reasonable doubt regarding the testing procedure or results in the employee’s favor.
Disciplinary action will be taken after a complete and thorough review of the applicable data in accordance with Chapter 12 of the Civil Service Rules. Employees will be provided pre-deprivation notice and a meaningful opportunity to respond prior to the imposition of disciplinary action.
- Penalty for a first positive test: A first positive drug test or alcohol test which evidences a violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action up to and including the possibility of termination. Factors to be considered in determining the appropriate sanction include, but are not limited to, the employee’s work history, length of service, current job performance and the existence of prior disciplinary action.
- Termination will be considered an appropriate penalty for the following violations: Second positive drug test or alcohol test which evidences a violation of this policy; Refusal to submit to a drug test or alcohol test; Failure to cooperate in any way which prevents the completion of a drug or alcohol test (including, but not limited to, refusing to provide, complete or sign testing forms, refusing to provide urine (excluding medical inability));Submission of an adulterated or substitute sample for testing; Buying, selling, dispensing, distributing, possessing or using any Illegal Drug, while on duty, in a vehicle or on DNR property or using alcohol in violation of this policy; and Operating a Public Vehicle while under the influence of Illegal Drugs or alcohol where testing administered by an authorized official confirms a violation of this Policy.
- LDNR’s Human Resource Director shall be the coordinator for these policies, and the designated point of contact for the Drug Testing Contractor and Medical Review Officer.
All drug and alcohol testing results and records (including all information, interviews, reports and statements) are considered confidential communications, pursuant to La. R.S. 49:1012, and may not be used or received in evidence, obtained in discovery, or disclosed in any public or private proceeding, except in an administrative or disciplinary proceeding or civil litigation where drug use by the tested individual is relevant. Exceptions to these confidentiality provisions are limited to written employee consent; federal agencies when licensure or certification actions are required; to a decision-maker in arbitration, litigation or administrative proceedings arising from a positive drug test; and as otherwise required by law.
In compliance with La. R.S. 49:1011, any employee, upon learning of a confirmed positive test result, shall, upon written request, have the right of access, within seven working days, to records and other documentation relating to the drug testing process and any records relating to the results of any relevant certification, review, suspension/revocation proceedings of the testing facility.
Employees should know that statistical records and reports of drug testing are maintained by DNR, contract physicians and drug testing laboratories. This information is aggregate data and is used to monitor compliance and to assess the effectiveness of the drug testing program.
Nothing contained in this policy will be construed to preclude the delivery of any Illegal Drug discovered in/on DNR/State property, or upon the person of a DNR employee, to law enforcement officials. Any employee selling, dispensing, distributing, possessing or using Illegal Drugs while on duty or on DNR/State property shall be referred to appropriate law enforcement authorities.
Legal claims for drug testing
Louisiana employers must use certified laboratories and follow required procedures if they will use a positive test result as the basis for discipline or termination; an employer who doesn’t follow these rules could end up in legal trouble. Other potential legal issues arising from drug testing include:
An applicant or employee who is taking medication for a disability is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Some prescribed medications turn up on drug tests, and some drugs that would otherwise be illegal (such as opiates) are legitimately prescribed for certain conditions. If an applicant is turned down because of a positive drug test, and the applicant’s medication was legally prescribed for a disability, the company could be liable (unless the drug is medical marijuana).
Other discrimination claims. An employer who singles out certain groups of employees – for example, by race, age, or gender – for drug testing could face a discrimination claim.
Invasion of privacy
Even an employer that has a legitimate reason to test might violate employee privacy in the way it conducts the test. For example, requiring employees to disrobe or provide a urine sample in front of others could be a privacy violation, depending on the circumstances.