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Rhode Island Drug Testing Compliance

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Largest city Providence
Area 1,214 sq mi
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Rhode Island Employee Background Check Laws

Rhode Island

Legal status for workplace drug screening and alcohol testing

Our intent is to make drug screening compliance as simple as possible. you don’t have to be a constitutional law scholar to conduct workplace drug testing in California.

California is a “mandatory” state, which means any private employer wishing to conduct drug and/or alcohol testing of non-regulated employees within this state must do so according to the state constitution, statutes, regulations, local ordinances, and court decisions that apply (the rules).

This over view is to introduce you to the nature and history of the state’s workplace drug testing rules and to provide a basic understanding of the compliance issues you may face when testing in this state.

Drug Testing Overview Marijuana Court Decisions

Employer Action:
Q1: Are there any state limitations for workplace drug screening policies?
A: No specific requirements of employer drug screening policy from California.
Q2: Please choose a reason for drug and alcohol testing:
No
Safety-sensitive only
No (but must have facts)
Yes
Limits
No
No (but see cautions below)
Q3: Are there any state requirements for test methods?
A: Safety-sensitive only.
Q4: Are there any state requirements or limitation for drugs you can test for?
A: No, but see discussion below
Q5: Are there any state requirements or limitations for specific notice of result?
A: No, but see discussion below
Q6: Is it required to use a Certified Laboratory?
A: Strongly encouraged given the restrictions in some cities for drug testing.
Q7: What types of specimens can we test for?
A: No restrictions
Q8: Are there restrictions for Alcohol Testing?
A: The same qualifications apply as they do for drug testing.

Did you know?

Q1. Can I do a random testing for my employees in San Francisco?

Answer is “No”.

City of San Francisco

San Francisco Ordinance Section 3300A.5 was established in 1985. (See APPENDIX “B”). The local ordinance prohibits an employer from conducting random drug testing but does allow testing when the employer has “reasonable grounds” to believe an employee is impaired on the job and that employee is in a safety sensitive position.

 Correct!

Rhode Island Drug & Alcohol Testing Laws

1025. Every private employer regularly employing 25 or more employees shall reasonably accommodate any employee who wishes to voluntarily enter and participate in an alcohol or drug rehabilitation program, provided that this reasonable accommodation does not impose an undue hardship on the employer. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit an employer from refusing to hire, or discharging an employee who, because of the employee’s current use of alcohol or drugs, is unable to perform his or her duties, or cannot perform the duties in a manner which would not endanger his or her health or safety or the health or safety of others.

1026. The employer shall make reasonable efforts to safeguard the privacy of the employee as to the fact that he or she has enrolled in an alcohol or drug rehabilitation program.

1027. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require an employer to provide time off with pay, except that an employee may use sick leave to which he or she is entitled to the purpose of entering and participating in an alcohol or drug rehabilitation program.

1028. An employee may file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner if he or she believes that he or she has been denied reasonable accommodation as required by this chapter. Sections 98, 98.1, 98.2, 98.3, 98.4, 98.5, 98.6, and 98.7 shall be applicable to a complaint filed pursuant to this section.

ABBREVIATIONS
  • American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC)
  • Blood Alcohol concentration (BAC)
  • Breath Alcohol Test (BAT)
  • Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)
  • College of American Pathologists (CAP)
  • Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Forensic Urine Drug Testing (FUDT)
  • Medical Review officer (MRO)
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA)

Update: Aug 2017

Disclaimer

This material is time sensitive. Contact us for updates. This information is subject to frequent change through legislative and court action.

All materials in this page and accompanying information are for general educational purposes and not intended to provide legal, scientific or medical advice. Consult with an appropriate professional to address specific issues.

Rhode Island Marijuana Employer Guidelines

“Recreational vs. personal” use of marijuana: We recognize that a majority of the country uses the term “recreational use” when referring to states that have legalized possession and use of limited amounts of marijuana for those over 21.

Rhode Island personal and medical use of marijuana.

Medical Use: The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 as amended has been found by the California Supreme Court not to apply to the workplace. The Court said:

Personal Use: On November 8, 2016, Proposition 64, known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act passed by a margin of 57.1%. (A margin greater than medical marijuana was in 1996). The law specifically provides that employers have the right to maintain a drug and alcohol-free workplace and does not require an employer to accommodate the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale, or growth of marijuana in the workplace. The law further states that it does not affect the ability of employers to have policies prohibiting the use of marijuana by employees and prospective employees, or prevent employers from complying with state or federal law.

For more information regarding marijuana at work refer to Info Cubic’s Drug Screening compliance corner.

Update: Sep 2017

Disclaimer

This material is time sensitive. Contact us for updates. This information is subject to frequent change through legislative and court action.

All materials in this page and accompanying information are for general educational purposes and not intended to provide legal, scientific or medical advice. Consult with an appropriate professional to address specific issues.

KEY COURT DECISIONS
Court Case Issue Outcome Employer Limitation/ Action

Hill v National Collegiate Athletic Association, 7Cal. 4th 1, 865 P.2d 633 (CA S.Ct. 1994).

  1. CA Constitution Privacy Initiative applies to private parties.
  2. Interests must be balanced.

NCAA won.

The first case where CA Supreme Court interpreted the Privacy Initiative. Limits private employer action.

Update: Oct 2017

TO PAGETOP