Workplace Drug Testing Bill Assailed

Date: February 05, 2014

Worker advocates are strongly opposing legislation that
would establish a uniform workplace drug testing policy for interested
employers and make it easier for employers to conduct random testing of


Employers that want to conduct applicant, probable cause,
and random testing would be able to use a uniform state policy instead of employers
creating their own policies.  The model
state policy would save employers and state officials from the cumbersome chore
of writing and approving separate policies for each employer that wants to do
drug testing.


LD 1669 would also allow employers of more than 20
employees to conduct random testing without having to establish an Employee
Assistance Program (EAP).  EAPs are
already optional for businesses with 20 or fewer employees.  Maine is one of a small number of states that
require EAPs as part of a company’s drug testing policy.


NFIB and other business groups testified in support of LD
1669.  A model testing policy that
employers could use received particular emphasis.


Not so for groups advocating on behalf of workers.  The Maine AFL-CIO, which urged defeat of LD
1669, objected to a “one-size fits all” uniform policy, saying that policies
should be tailored to individual workplaces and written with employee
input.  The group also objected to making
EAPs voluntary and to removing the requirement that employers over more than 20
workers pay half the cost of assistance for workers who test positive.


The Maine State Employees Union (MSEA) also opposed the
legislation as did the Maine Civil Liberties Union and the Medical Marijuana
Caregivers of Maine.


No work session is scheduled yet.


LD 1669 – An Act to Standardize and Simplify the Process
for Employers to Provide a Drug-Free Workplace


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