Drug-Free Work Place
Federal legislation requires that the Board of Trustees adopt a "Drug-Free Workplace" policy. Drug testing of applicants for sensitive positions is a part of the Board's Policy and Procedures.
Pre-employment Testing for Drug Usage
Human Resources may conduct drug testing of applicants for specific positions only when:
- The District has documented the sensitivity of the position and the consequences of drug-related behavior as defined in Section III.
- Any selection procedure that includes drug testing shall specify in the position announcement the type of specimen to be collected and the consequences of failing the drug test.
- An applicant or former employee requesting reinstatement to a class for which drug testing is required shall be subject to drug testing.
For the purposes of this policy, sensitive positions are peace officer positions and other positions in which drug or alcohol affected performance could clearly endanger the health and safety of the employee and others. These positions have the following characteristics:
- their duties involve a greater than normal level of trust, responsibility for or impact on the health and safety of others; and
- errors in judgment, inattentiveness or diminished coordination, dexterity or composure while performing their duties could clearly result in mistakes that would endanger the health and safety of others; and
- employees in these positions work with such independence or perform such tasks that it cannot be safely assumed that mistakes could be prevented or signs of impairment noted by a supervisor or another employee.
- Positions shall be identified as sensitive through the following process:
- In coordination with Human Resources, each College or site shall identify the positions within their jurisdiction that meet the standards.
- Once a position has been designated sensitive, a statement that drug testing will be included as part of the pre-employment health examination is made a part of the position announcement and all notices to finalists.
- Current members of the District's Classified service, Regular/Contract Faculty, or Management will not be required to test for drugs if assigned or appointed through a selection process to a position designated as "sensitive."
Testing Process and Standards
Substance testing shall comply with the following standards and procedures:
- An authorization test form shall be provided and shall include at least the following:
- a list of the specific drugs to be tested for and a description of the consequences of failing the drug test;
- a signature block, to be signed by the applicant before the drug test begins, authorizing the test to proceed and authorizing the necessary disclosure of medical information;
- a statement that applicants who decline to sign the form or decline to be tested will be disqualified from consideration for employment.
- The drug testing process shall be one that is scientifically proven to be at least as accurate and valid as urinalysis testing using an immunoassay screening test, with all positive screening results being confirmed utilizing gas chromatography/mass spectrometry before a sample is considered positive. The alcohol testing process shall be one that is scientifically proven to be at least as accurate and valid as (1) urinalysis testing using an enzymatic assay screening test, with all positive screening results being confirmed using gas chromatography before a sample is considered positive, or (2) breath sample testing using breath alcohol analyzing instruments which meet the State Department of Health Services standards specified in Title 17, Group 8, Article 7 of the California Code of Regulations. Substances to be tested for shall include the following:
- Amphetamines and Methamphetamines
- Marijuana/Cannabinoids (THC)
- Opiates (narcotics)
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
In addition, with the approval of the Human Resources and with notice to the applicant, testing may be conducted for other controlled substances. Except as provided herein, urine specimens shall not be tested for other substances of conditions of the applicant.
- After consulting with expert staff of the laboratory or laboratories selected to perform the testing, Human Resources, with advice from the District contract testing facility, shall set test cutoff levels that will identify positive test samples while minimizing false positive test results.
- Test samples will be collected in a clinical setting such as a laboratory collection station, doctor's office, hospital or clinic or in another setting approved by Human Resources on the basis that it provides for at least an equally secure and professional collection process. The contract testing facility shall specify procedures to ensure that true samples are obtained.
- Human Resources shall require the testing facility to specify measures to ensure that a strict chain of custody is maintained for the sample from the time it is taken through the testing process to its final disposition.
- Drug tests shall be performed by a commercial laboratory selected based on its meeting standards that are the same as those used by the National Institute on Drug Abuse to certify laboratories engaged in urine drug testing for Federal agencies or those used by the College of American Pathologists to accredit laboratories for forensic urine drug testing.
- Provisions of the drug test shall include that a valid specimen is acquired, the donor is properly identified and that no tampering or mishandling of the specimen occurs from initial collection to final disposition. A written log in which is recorded the name, signature, time of receipt and time of release of each person handling, testing or storing each specimen and reporting test results shall be maintained.
- The sample collection process shall include the opportunity for the applicant to provide information about factors other than illegal drug use, such as taking legally prescribed medication, that could cause a positive test result. At the employee's option, this information may be submitted in a sealed envelope to be opened only by the medical review officer if the test result is positive.
- The applicant shall receive a full copy of any test results and related documentation of the testing process.
- All confirmed positive samples shall be retained by the testing laboratory in secure frozen storage for one year following the test or until the sample is no longer needed for appeal proceedings. At the applicant's request and expense, the sample may be retested by the laboratory or another laboratory of the employee's choice.
- If the screening test result is negative, the test is concluded and the applicant is notified he/she has passed the test. If the screening test and confirmatory test results are positive and the medical review officer's opinion is that positive test results are not because of prescribed or over the counter medication or for any other medically acceptable reasons, the applicant has failed the drug test and is so notified.
- Human Resources shall designate one ore more medical review officers who shall be licensed physicians to receive test results from the laboratory. Upon receiving results, the medical review officer shall:
- Review the results and determine if the standards and procedures required by this Policy have been followed; and
- for positive results interview the affected employee to determine if factors other than illegal drug use may have caused the result; and
- consider any assertions by the affected employee of irregularities in the sample collection and testing process.
The medical review officer, based upon the above, shall provide a written explanation of the test results to Human Resources. The affected applicant shall also receive a copy of this explanation.
Human Resources shall maintain records of the circumstances and results of any employee testing under this Personnel Policy. These records, and any other information pertaining to an applicant's drug or alcohol test, shall be considered confidential and shall be released only to:
- The applicant who was tested or other individuals designated in writing by that applicant;
- the medical review officer;
- individuals who need the records or information to properly determine or assist in determining what action Human Resources should take in response to the test results;
- respond to appeals or litigation arising from the drug test or related actions.
Consequences of Failing the Drug Test
- Applicants who fail the drug test will be disqualified from the examination in which they are competing and shall not be eligible to take any examination for a position for which drug testing is required until one year has elapsed from the date the drug test specimen is given.
- Applicants who fail the drug test because of a drug for which possession would constitute a felony offense shall not be eligible for employment in a peace officer class until ten years have elapsed from the date the drug test specimen is given.
- Applicants who are disqualified from subsequent consideration for positions designated as "sensitive" may, upon request and with the consent of Human Resources, be eligible for consideration. In acting on the request, Human Resources shall consider evidence submitted by the applicant of rehabilitation from drug abuse and/or extenuating circumstances regarding the drug use. Persons denied permission for subsequent consideration within the specified time periods may appeal in writing to Human Resources within 30 days of notification for the review by the Assistant Chancellor - Human Resources and Administrative Services or designee.
Appeal of a Disqualification Resulting From a Failed drug Test or Background Investigation Report
- An applicant disqualified as the result of failing the drug test may only appeal the disqualification on the grounds that the drug was obtained legally or there has been a violation of test protocol or chain of custody procedures, or other irregularity that invalidates the test result. A disqualified applicant may have his/her drug test specimen retested at his/her own expense and include the results of the retesting in his/her appeal.
- An applicant for a Peace Officer classification disqualified as a result of disclosure of drug use or whose background investigation reveals use of a drug may appeal the disqualification on any grounds allowable by law.
- Appeal shall be filed with the Assistant Chancellor - Human Resources and Administrative Services upon the prescribed form within two (2) business days from notification and disqualification. The Assistant Chancellor - Human Resources and Administrative Services or designee will respond to the appeal.
- An applicant who prevails upon appeal under this rule will be reinstated for consideration in the process from which disqualified or restored to the eligible list from which removed.
Attachments: Pre-employment drug testing, Sensitive Positions