Texas’ Drug Testing Rules and Regulations
Under Texas drug testing and federal laws, there is almost no limitation at all on the right of private employers to adopt drug and alcohol testing policies for their workers.
In a federal country like the U.S., the separate states have their own specific laws in terms of illegal drug abuse, drug testing, and punishment for those who sell or handle drugs. For example, cannabinoids are legal in some states and prohibited in others. Some states restrict employers to require drug testing from their employees. Some have not, including the second biggest state in the U.S.: Texas.
This means that if an employer in Texas asks someone to have a drug test, he or she must do so or else there are consequences to be suffered. This includes the possibility of being denied a job as stated under the provisions of the Texas Labor Code. Texas drug testing is also necessary to acquire a motoring carrier registration. These are just the basic Texas’ rules and regulations on drug testing.
In Texas drug testing, one of the testing models often used is from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TLDR). The general rules basically cover things like employees must not be under any medication unless prescribed by a doctor or licensed medical professional.
Regardless of where you live or work, there are three types of tests and the first one is pre-employment. People who received an initial job offer should undergo drug testing prior to getting a final offer. It is followed by the annual type of test which says that all employees must have a drug test once in every twelve months. The last one is random testing.
In random drug testing, this is a urine test conducted with at least 25% of a company’s employees tested each year. A consent form is also compulsory, stating that the subject permits testing and allows the release of the result to a medical review officer (MRO), the company and the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. An employee who tested positive and went through rehabilitation has a chance to go back to the company; as long as that person submits a return-to-duty test. Follow-up tests are also necessitated and all of these should be negative.
With Texas drug testing, the question on everybody’s mind here and elsewhere is how do you fairly and objectively solve an age-old problem that has grown globally and continues to do so?
Countless methods and strategies have been tried and tested. Many of these have failed, some may seem to work, a few are sometimes unlawful. Millions of resources have been spent and yet it still goes on. How exactly do you fight and finally end illegal drug use and distribution? Governments and medical authorities from all over the world are in a quandary when it comes to this issue. Although there are ways and actions that are taken, the fight goes on.
World-wide, there are different approaches in fighting illegal drug distribution. It depends on the area. Some European countries focus on the treatment of drug abusers, some countries like the U.S. focus on the punishment of drug pushers. This worldwide effort requires all the cooperation from various parts of the society for it to work. It might be hard and there is no guarantee but it is better than nothing at all.
The biggest problem that Texas faces is that illegal drug distribution is a business. In fact, it is a billion-dollar business that encompasses the globe and one in which numerous governments outside of the U.S. benefit from it too. It is not easy to put a stop to a “business” with a world-wide reach and a web of connections. It just might not be possible. However, some countries are trying their best to fight illegal drug abuse and distribution by discouraging illegal drug use through routine testing of current and potential employees.
Drug testing for this war on drugs is viewed as essential by many employers. Recent numbers in Texas show that substance-abuse treatment inquires increased 22% since the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, Texas HHS reports that an average of 128 people die every day from opioid use in the U.S. In Texas, the drug overdose death rate is 10.4 per 100,000, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention health statistics. It’s worth noting, however, that alcohol is the primary drug of abuse in Texas and although alcohol does not appear in standard drug tests, it can be included in a drug test if specifically requested.
In Texas drug testing, it’s common for large companies to even have their own designated Medical Review Officers (MROs) to review and analyze all the testing information that the medical laboratory submitted. It’s expected that the MRO should fully be qualified and with substantial experience in substance abuse disorders. It is strictly confidential and the laboratory should surrender the result only to the designated MRO.
So, what are the implications of a positive drug test? One, a person would be disqualified from being considered for a job position. If a person is already an employee in a Texas-based company, he or she might be dismissed or fired from the job. Some local state companies might dole out less disciplinary actions. However, there are several factors that are considered; work history, employment length, job position and performance, and past disciplinary actions, if any.
Legal Claims for Texas Drug Testing
The State of Texas requires companies that employ at least 15 people to enact comprehensive drug reduction policies, most of which include drug testing. An employer must give this policy in writing to its staff to sign. Employers cannot perform drug tests on employees who have not given their written consent. While workers do have the option of refusing to sign the policy, it is usually possible to fire them for declining.
In recent years, the State of Texas has gradually loosened restrictions and expanded legal applications for marijuana to treat certain medical conditions.
In 2015, the Texas Legislature passed a marijuana “Compassionate Use” law that allows doctor-prescribed low-THC-level marijuana to epilepsy patients.
In 2019, the program was further expanded to include treatment for more ailments including other seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, ALS, autism, terminal cancer, and other non-specified incurable neurodegenerative diseases.
The Texas Legislature in 2019 basically ruled that cannabis with less than 0.3 percent concentration of THC, the psychoactive ingredient that gets you high, is “legal hemp”, while anything above that threshold is illegal marijuana.
Texas drug testing is considered essential in many of its large institutions. It is difficult to be in such a situation but it also a good way to get help.
Some drug abusers do not get the help they need because of being in denial; of convincing themselves that they do not have a problem. Yes, it is a struggle at first. But undergoing a local Texas drug test may just be what some need to jolt them back to reality. If this is the case, acknowledging is the first step in getting help. Then comes the responsibility. It is a person’s responsibility to take care of his or herself. This includes the will and determination to clean up their lives.