2006 Alabama Code - Section 25-5-335 — Types of tests; procedures for specimen collection and testing; laboratory; confirmation of tests.

(a) An employer is required to conduct the following types of tests in order to qualify for the workers' compensation insurance premium discounts provided under this article:

(1) An employer shall require job applicants to submit to a substance abuse test after extending an offer of employment. Limited testing of job applicants by an employer shall qualify under this article if the testing is conducted on the basis of reasonable classifications of job positions.

(2) An employer shall require an employee to submit to reasonable suspicion testing.

(3) An employer shall require an employee to submit to a substance abuse test if the test is conducted as part of a routinely scheduled employee fitness-for-duty medical examination that is part of the employer's established policy or that is scheduled routinely for all members of an employment classification or group.

(4) If the employee, in the course of employment, enters an employee assistance program or a rehabilitation program as the result of a positive test, the employer shall require the employee to submit to a substance abuse test as a follow-up to the program. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if an employee voluntarily entered the program, follow-up testing shall not be required. If follow-up testing is conducted, the frequency of the testing shall be at least once a year for a two-year period after completion of the program and advance notice of the testing date shall not be given to the employee.

(5) If the employee has caused or contributed to an on-the-job injury which resulted in a loss of work time, the employer shall require the employee to submit to a substance abuse test.

(b) Nothing in this article shall prohibit a private employer from conducting random testing or other lawful testing of employees.

(c) All specimen collection and testing under this article shall be performed in accordance with the following procedures:

(1) A specimen shall be collected with due regard to the privacy of the individual providing the specimen, and in a manner reasonably calculated to prevent substitution or contamination of the specimen.

(2) Specimen collection shall be documented, and the documentation procedures shall include all of the following:

a. Labeling of specimen containers so as to reasonably preclude the likelihood of erroneous identification of test results.

b. An opportunity for the employee or job applicant to record any information he or she considers relevant to the test, including identification of currently or recently used prescription or nonprescription medication or other relevant medical information. The providing of information shall not preclude the administration of the test, but shall be taken into account in interpreting any positive confirmed results.

(3) Specimen collection, storage, and transportation to the testing site shall be performed in a manner which reasonably precludes specimen contamination or adulteration.

(4) Each initial and confirmation test conducted under this article, not including the taking or collecting of a specimen to be tested, shall be conducted by a laboratory as described in subsection (d).

(5) A specimen for a test may be taken or collected by any of the following persons:

a. A physician, a physician's assistant, a registered professional nurse, a licensed practical nurse, a nurse practitioner, or a certified paramedic who is present at the scene of an accident for the purpose of rendering emergency medical service or treatment.

b. A qualified person certified or employed by a laboratory certified by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the College of American Pathologists, or the Alabama Department of Human Resources.

(6) Within five working days after receipt of a positive confirmed test result from the laboratory, an employer shall inform the employee or job applicant in writing of the positive test result, the consequences of the results, and the options available to the employee or job applicant.

(7) The employer shall provide to the employee or job applicant, upon request, a copy of the test results.

(8) An initial test having a positive result shall be verified by a confirmation test.

(9) An employer who performs drug testing or specimen collection shall use chain of custody procedures to ensure proper record keeping, handling, labeling, and identification of all specimens to be tested.

(10) An employer shall pay the cost of all drug tests, initial and confirmation, which the employer requires of employees.

(11) An employee or job applicant shall pay the cost of any additional tests not required by the employer.

(12) If testing is conducted based on reasonable suspicion, the employer shall promptly detail in writing the circumstances which formed the basis of the determination that reasonable suspicion existed to warrant the testing. A copy of this documentation shall be given to the employee upon request and the original documentation shall be kept confidential by the employer as provided in this article and retained by the employer for at least one year.

(d)(1) No laboratory may analyze initial or confirmation drug specimens unless:

a. The laboratory is approved by the National Institute on Drug Abuse or the College of American Pathologists.

b. The laboratory has written procedures to ensure the chain of custody.

c. The laboratory follows proper quality control procedures including, but not limited to:

1. The use of internal quality controls including the use of samples of known concentrations which are used to check the performance and calibration of testing equipment, and periodic use of blind samples for overall accuracy.

2. An internal review and certification process for drug test results, conducted by a person qualified to perform that function in the testing laboratory.

3. Security measures implemented by the testing laboratory to preclude adulteration of specimens and drug test results.

4. Other necessary and proper actions taken to ensure reliable and accurate drug test results.

(2)a. A laboratory shall disclose to the employer a written test result report within seven working days after receipt of the sample. All laboratory reports of a substance abuse test result shall, at a minimum, state all of the following:

1. The name and address of the laboratory which performed the test and the positive identification of the person tested.

2. Positive results on confirmation tests only, or negative results, as applicable.

3. A list of the drugs for which the drug analyses were conducted.

4. The type of tests conducted for both initial and confirmation tests and the minimum cut-off levels of the tests.

b. No report shall disclose the presence or absence of any drug other than a specific drug and its metabolites listed pursuant to this article.

(3) Laboratories shall provide technical assistance to the employer, employee, or job applicant for the purpose of interpreting any positive confirmed test results which could have been caused by prescription or nonprescription medication taken by the employee or job applicant.

(e) If an initial drug test is negative, the employer may seek a confirmation test. Only those laboratories described in subsection (d) shall conduct confirmation drug tests.

(f) All positive initial tests shall be confirmed using the gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MC) method or an equivalent or more accurate scientifically accepted methods approved by the National Institute on Drug Abuse as the technology becomes available in a cost-effective form.

(Acts 1995, No. 95-535, p. 1082, §6.)

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