Texas drug testing locations
Texas drug testing laws
Drug screening/testing programs
Nearly two-thirds of employers in the state of Texas indicated that they currently have a drug screening or drug testing program in place. These programs may involve a number of types of testing, such as pre-employment, random, post-injury, ror easonable suspicion. Not surprisingly, the propensity of firms to have drug testing programs increases significantly with the number of workers they employ. While still over half, 54 percent, of smaller companies, those with 15 to 49 workers, had a drug testing program, a significantly higher percentage of larger employers had such program - 72 percent of employers with 50 to 99 workers and 82 percent of employers with 100 or more workers had drug testing programs in place.
Pre-employment drug screening, post-injury drug testing, and random drug testing were the tests most commonly utilized by Texas employers, with probable-cause testing not far behind. As was the case with drug testing in general, the propensity of employers to use specific types of drug testing, such as pre-employment drug screening, random drug testing, post-injury testing, and probable-cause testing increased significantly with the number of workers a particular company employs.
This type of drug testing occurs for all full-time and part-time applicants who are considered for a position. Applicants who test positive will not be considered suitable for employment.
Employees are tested if they:
- are involved in on-the-job accidents;
- engage in unsafe behavior or activities on the job;
- pose a danger to themselves or others;
- pose a danger to the overall operation of the company.
Appropriate disciplinary action is taken when test results are positive.
Employees are tested on the basis of
- direct observation of drug use or the physical symptoms of being under the influence of a drug or alcohol;
- abnormal conduct or erratic behavior while at work;
- absenteeism, tardiness or deterioration in work performance which is continuous and repeated over time.
If an employer feels the need to test an employee due to reasonable cause, that employee needs to cease all work duties until the results come back to help ensure an accident or injury does not take place.
Periodic retesting of employees who have acknowledged substance abuse problems and have participated in or completed substance abuse treatment or rehabilitation programs may be mandated for up to two years after the employee returns to the workplace.
Random substance abuse testing is most likely to identify any abusers in the workplace. Selection must include everyone within the company. Everyone should have an equal chance of being selected so there is no chance for subjectivity, favoritism, or manipulation of the process. This option should be implemented with great caution and not without legal counsel.
Announced testing is typically implemented during the annual physical, which includes a drug test as one of the many medical tests or procedures. Several issues must be given serious consideration before a testing policy is adopted. A company may choose to have an outside laboratory perform all of the company’s drug testing or to perform testing on-site. When considering an outside laboratory for testing, the company should verify that the laboratory is a US Department of Health and Human Services National Laboratory certified program. If on-site testing is chosen, it is necessary to have a qualified staff person available to operate the equipment. Also, the testing area must be secured from unauthorized entry and must have a refrigerator and adequate air conditioning. Positive test results obtained in on-site testing should be confirmed by an outside laboratory using an alternative method of testing. Prior to testing, it is important for the employer to receive written consent to test and to release the test results only to appropriate personnel.
Employers are allowed, as per provisions under the Texas Labor Code dealing with the chapter on Employment Discrimination, to practice a policy prohibiting the employment of persons who currently use or possess a controlled substance.
Falsification of a drug test is an offense in Texas, with the person committing the act of using substances or devices to falsify drug tests guilty of a Class B misdemeanor and those aiding or delivering substances intended to falsify the test for drugs guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
Any employee claims for workers’ compensation insurance coverage may be denied for employee injuries in which the cause is due mainly to the employee being in a state of intoxication.
Medical marijuana law: The state of Texas has no law that legitimizes the use and possession of medical marijuana. However, SB 339 was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbot. Called the Texas Compassionate Use Act, the law allows some qualified patients to use and possess low-THC cannabis and marijuana with a 10% or more cannabidiol (CBD) and up to 0.5% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The law stipulates that dispensing organizations are allowed to process, cultivate and distribute low-THC cannabis to qualified patients. The law mandates that all participating, qualified medical doctors are to register and include information such as recommended dosage, means of administration, and the quantity of low-THC cannabis prescribed to the patient. If the prescription is issued to the patient, this includes delivery to the patient by the marijuana establishment.
- Only patients prescribed to take low-THC cannabis by a registered physician under particular conditions are qualified.
- The patient should be diagnosed with intractable epilepsy.
- The patient must be a permanent resident of Texas.
- The patient must have undergone at least two approved treatments by the US FDA but did not improve.
- There is no other FDA-approved treatment available for the patient to try.
- A qualified patient may only possess the amount of low-THC cannabis prescribed by his physician.
Recreational marijuana law
The use and possession of marijuana in Texas is illegal. Since 2008, no bill has been proposed to legalize marijuana. Penalty for possession of marijuana depends on the amount of marijuana a person has and how he intends to use it. Penalties for marijuana possession include treatment for marijuana addiction, fines, and incarceration. Convicted adults are most likely to face jail time, while minors may be sent to a juvenile center
Effects on workplace drug testing
Unlike that of some U.S. states, Texas legislation does not require drug testing of people employed in private businesses. This means that private employers may or may not conduct drug testing for applicants and employees. Federal laws on drug testing apply to federal grantees and contractors, as well as those employed in safety and security-sensitive work.