Conflicts Between Alabama Law and OSHA Drug Testing Rules


Drug Test

Potentially, there is a conflict between Alabama’s Drug Free Workplace Act and new OSHA regulations on reporting workplace injuries.

Alabama’s Drug Free Workplace Act gives employers reductions in their workers’ compensation insurance premiums if they adopt a drug free workplace policy, which includes post-accident drug testing.  Here’s a link to the Act.  Drug Free Workplace Act

On August 10, 2016, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration will implement changes to its regulations that could conflict with the Alabama Drug Free Workplace Act.  Under those new regulations an employer must have a “reasonable procedure” that allows employees to report on-the-job injuries.  But, policies “that deter or discourage a reasonable employee from accurately reporting a workplace injury or illness” are not reasonable.  OSHA has taken the position that policies requiring “blanket post-injury drug testing policies deter proper reporting,” and are unreasonable.  Thus, post-accident drug testing could subject employers to OSHA citations.

So, the Alabama Drug Free Workplace Act provides incentives for post-accident drug testing.  But, the new OSHA regulations could result in citations for post-accident drug testing.  Attorney Tommy Eden in Opelika, Alabama has conducted an excellent analysis of this conflict and risk reduction strategies.  His discussion can be found here:  Post Accident Drug Testing