Drug Testing

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    According to a report released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 8 percent — about one in 12 — full-time workers ages 18 to 64 used illegal drugs in the past month. The study, from the 2011 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, uncovers an important finding for business owners, showing that...

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    The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida recently held that a public employer's policy of drug testing all job applicants was applied in an unconstitutional manner. The case highlights the importance of carefully drafting and implementing workplace drug-testing policies. Working in Key West The city of Key West conducts...
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    Q Our company is a staffing firm, and one of our clients had a policy requiring that temps take a drug test only if they're offered a full-time position. I was just informed that the client has decided to require that all temps take a drug test. I've been told that you have to give employees 60 days' notice when you change a drug-testing policy...
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    An employer made an incorrect assumption about a disabled applicant. When a court disagreed with the assumption, the employer paid the applicant more than $50,000. Lynn, Jackson, Shultz & Lebrun, P.C., the firm of South Dakota Employment Law Letter editor Jane Wipf Pfeifle, was involved in this case. All facts are taken solely from the court's...
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    Q Our company allows 30 minutes for lunch. Can we enforce the 30-minute policy for salaried employees or just hourly employees? A Nothing in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or Idaho law requires employers to allow workers to take breaks (unless they're nursing mothers). So any policies regarding break times are generally an agreement...
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    If there's one thing on which smokers and nonsmokers can agree, it's that smoking is an expensive habit. While tobacco companies and trade groups challenge coupon and discount bans on cigarettes, employers have taken up a different fight against the rising costs of smoking. For several years, employers have begun offering smoking-cessation...
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    The Arkansas Court of Appeals recently reversed the denial of a nurse's unemployment benefits after she was terminated for mistakenly taking an unprescribed codeine medication to treat her rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. The court was persuaded by the fact that she had a valid prescription for a stronger pain-management medication. Facts When...
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    This past November, Portland became the first city on the east coast to legalize recreational marijuana use. As of December 6, 2013, the ordinance is now in effect. But that doesn't mean you have to allow your employees to come to work high. The Portland marijuana ordinance shouldn't have a significant impact on employers. Background: a...
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    By now, employers in both the private and public sectors should be aware of the heightened litigation surrounding the administration of drug tests. Generally, drug testing is permissible under federal and state law. However, you must administer your drug- testing policies fairly and consistently and be careful to use the results in a...
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    Q Our company allows 30 minutes for lunch. Can we enforce the 30-minute policy for salaried employees or just for hourly employees? A Yes, you can require both exempt and nonexempt employees to take only a half hour for lunch. If nonexempt employees don't comply with the policy, you can discipline them by docking their pay for time they didn't...
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