New York drug testing locations
- Bronx, New York
- Central Long Island, New York
- Empire State, Central New York
- Long Island, New York, New York
- Syracuse, New York
New York drug testing laws
Drug testing in New York for those working as drivers in the school system and public transportation is required each year to keep a license valid. Mandatory New York drug testing also may be conducted before employment, as routine procedure, at random, based on reasonable suspicion, post accident, post treatment or rehabilitation, and upon return to work.
Note that even if there are no explicit New York drug testing laws, alcohol testing and random drug testing for those employed as law enforcers and correction officers is also mandatory. Random drug testing should be unannounced and applied indiscriminately to some employees, and not every employee, in the workplace. Drug or alcohol abuse in the workplace could result in an employee’s termination, as it often leads to absenteeism, tardiness, poor work performance, accidents, or injury.
Pre-employment background screening
The rule concerning pre-employment background screening in New York states that employers’ inquiries regarding an applicant’s arrest records are unlawful. The only acceptable circumstance is when the charges related to the arrest are still pending in court. The full text of this law can be reviewed under N.Y. Exec. Law 15.296.16.
Furthermore, employers are only allowed to inquire about an applicant’s conviction records under the following circumstances:
- The conviction has a direct impact on the job applied for. For example, a child abuse conviction is a strong case against hiring an applicant for a childcare position.
- Qualifying an applicant for a job that may jeopardize the safety and welfare of other people. For example, a conviction due to serious misdemeanor as a result of alcoholism.
- The position applied for is required by the state or federal law to have a stringent application process. Such jobs include childcare, elderly care, and care for developmentally disabled individuals.
Use and abuse of alcohol and drugs has a detrimental effect on the productivity, attendance, and overall health of the New York workforce. Employers must be vigilant in protecting the safety and welfare of the public and co-workers. The longstanding policy of the state has been that employees will be subject to criminal, civil, and disciplinary penalties if they distribute, sell, attempt to sell, possess, or purchase controlled substances while at the workplace or while performing in a work-related capacity. Such illegal acts, even if engaged in off duty, may result in disciplinary action.
It has also been the continuing policy of the state that employees are prohibited from on-the-job use of, or impairment from, alcohol or controlled substances. In cases where an employer has a reasonable suspicion that an employee is not able to perform his or her duties as a result of a disability which may be caused by alcohol or a controlled substance, the employer may proceed under the provisions of Section 72 of the Civil Service Law and require that the employee undergo a medical examination to ascertain the cause of the disability. Where testing for alcohol or a controlled substance occurs, appropriate medical procedures and tests should be utilized to assure accurate and proper results. Confidentiality of the testing process and results is an important aspect of this procedure for any affected employee.
A “reasonable suspicion” must be based upon specific, reliable observation that the employers observes concerning the appearance, behavior, speech, or body odor of the employee. The following observations may indicate drug or alcohol use: unsteady gait, odor of alcohol on the breath, thick or slurring speech, aggressive or abusive language or behavior, disorientation or lethargy, and bloodshot eyes.
It is also not unreasonable for the employer to consider the employee’s time and attendance patterns, such as absences around weekends, pass days, or payday, excessive use of sick leave, excessive lateness and unauthorized absences, on-the-job accidents, difficulty in recalling instructions or conversation, poor relationships with co-workers and supervisors, and other variations in productivity when making a determination as to whether a “reasonable suspicion” is present that an employee is suffering from a drug or alcohol-related issue.
Such medical examinations may be required under the safeguards of Section 72 of the Civil Service Law for employees who are permanently appointed competitive employees or employees subject to due process before termination. Other state employees who are not entitled to any due process protection before being terminated or placed on involuntary leave may also be required to undergo a medical examination, if appropriate under the circumstances. Once a determination is made that an employee is using, is under the influence of, or is not able to perform his or her duties due to alcohol or a controlled substance, the employer may determine the appropriate action to take. When considering the appropriate action to take, the employer may determine that the affected employee should be disciplined or terminated because of the alcohol or drug use. Employees who are terminated due to drug or alcohol use in the workplace might not be eligible for workers’ compensation.
On the other hand, the employer may determine that, given the nature of the job and the employee involved, the employee could benefit from the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). In such a case, the employee should be directed to the appropriate EAP coordinator to assist him or her with whatever problem exists. The Employee Assistance Program is a referral service set up at individual work sites and available to every employee. Should the employee have a drug or alcohol problem, EAP would provide the employee with a list of places which offer treatment and support for such conditions. After completion of a drug rehabilitation program, an employee who returns to work may be subjecting to drug testing for the following two years.