Missouri drug testing locations
Missouri drug testing laws
Most of Missouri drug laws are harsh. Missouri drug possession laws are among the toughest in the country. The state drug tests even newborns. The mother will not be arrested if the child’s tests are positive, but the baby may be taken from the mother. Last year in this state a welfare drug testing bill became a law. This means that all those who applies for state support have to be checked and undergo drug testing, so drug testing bills target welfare recipients, recipients of unemployment benefits, or other public beneficiaries. Besides the state is among the first to push the legislators. There are debates about the obligatory tests for legislators and authorities of the state on their own account.
Missouri drug free workplace
Has your Missouri 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.
No Missouri drug testing laws
Missouri is one of a small number of states that has no law addressing drug testing in private employment. This means that drug testing is not prohibited or restricted, unless it violates other legal provisions (such as a law prohibiting discrimination; see below).
You should be aware of the actual absence of the law of the state on drug testing for perspective employers. This means that drug testing is not restricted or prohibited unless it violates the other law provisions (e.g. a law prohibiting discrimination). The federal government demands testing in safety-sensitive industries (transportation, aviation, contractors with NASA or the Department of Defense). At the same time testing can be done for a return-to-duty procedure, pre-employment, post-accident, random or on reasonable suspicion. Missouri prospective employer may be required to take a drug test and federal laws have few limits on this procedure and do not prohibit drug tests.
More than 8% of full-time employers were reported to drug use within the last year according to SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) figures. In some industries, like food service or construction, rates run up to 17%.
Which drugs are detected by tests? SAMHSA recommends checking for the following illegal drugs:
- amphetamines (speed, meth, Ecstasy)
- opiates (opium, heroin, morphine, codeine)
- THC (marijuana, hash)
- cocaine (powder, crack)
- phencyclidine (PCP)
Note: Sometimes the tests include alcohol and nicotine as well.
Which drugs are undetected?
What period can drugs be detected?
Amphetamines clear the urine in most cases in 2-3 days. Cocaine needs a few days period longer, heroin metabolites disappear within a day. Marijuana can be detected in some weeks after it was used, benzodiazepines can show a positive test up to 3 weeks after they were last used.
Can a drug test be wrong?
In most cases drug testing is accurate. Though problems of body size, water intake, “shy bladder” and some others, can complicate the testing process. Urine tests are not as sensitive as blood tests. They can’t give an exact picture of “real-time” and may show falsely positive results. False positives or negatives range about 10%. Thus, employers often have a second confirmatory test.
Hair testing is rather accurate and show any drugs of abuse recently used. Hair testing in labs is regulated by SAMHSA (not FDA). This test uses radioimmunoassay technology and mass spectrometry. As hair growing out, the drugs used components are encased in its shaft. Long hair allows to detect the longer person’s drug history. However, accredited labs on hair drug testing analyze hair within 3–4 cm of the scalp. If the required amount is not available on the head, body hair is used as a substitute. In case of pre-employment testing, the inability to get a sample of hair may become a reason for not hiring.
Saliva / oral fluid drug tests are common for detecting a use of drugs during the last few days. Such tests become more widespread because of their convenience and inability to be adulterated. On-site oral tests are assured by implementation of random testing programs and have proved to be the most effective kind of drug screening
Recreational marijuana law
Senate Bill 491 was enacted way back in May 2014 but was never signed by Gov. Jay Nixon, choosing instead to allow it to become effective without his signature. The bill finally took effect on January 1, 2017. This law decriminalizes first offense possession of marijuana of up to 10 grams by replacing what used to be up to a year of jail time with a fine of up to $500. Possession of over 35 grams remains a felony with a prison sentence of up to 1 year AND a fine of $5000.This new law also reduces possible sentences for the cultivation and sale of marijuana.
Limitations: The protection against jail time applies only to individuals without prior marijuana convictions.
Effects on workplace drug testing
With the very limited scope of both HB 2238 and SB 491, the effects on workplace drug testing were not explicitly stated. Employers may reasonably assume status quo as far as state drug testing laws are concerned. Employees will still be expected to adhere to company drug-free workplace policies in the interest of preserving employee safety, performance and productivity in the workplace.
Legal claims for drug testing
Because Missouri law doesn’t put any limits on workplace drug testing, employees who believe their test was illegal will have to rely on other legal theories. For example, an employer may run into legal trouble based on who is tested or how the test is conducted. Here are some examples:
Disability discrimination: medication for a disability by an applicant or an employer is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Legitimately prescribed for certain conditions, otherwise being illegal (opiates, e.g.), some medications give positive results on drug tests and such tests can be put on doubt and considered illegal.
Other types of discrimination: an employer belonging to certain group by race, age, or gender can issue a discrimination claim for drug testing.
Invasion of privacy: Having a legitimate reason to test the individual, an employer might violate employee’s privacy in the way the procedure was conducted. If the first requires employees to undress or provide a sample of urine in the presence of others, the situation can be viewed as a privacy violation.
Defamation: In a case when the employer publicizes a false positive result, any employee might have a valid claim for defamation.
Some people (especially sportsmen) claim that it is a real issue about the lack of transparency in Missouri’s drug testing. There isn’t any notice before testing and the haphazard process in selecting whom to test and at what events.