HR Management & Compliance

News Notes: Positive Workplace Drug Tests Drop To 10-Year Low

The most recent drug testing survey published by SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories indicates the number of workers who test positive for drug use is at an all-time low. Only 5.8% of more than 4 million workplace drug tests the company performed in 1996 were positive, a 13% decline from 1995. Of special interest to California employers since the passage of Proposition 215 is that marijuana is the survey’s most frequently detected drug, showing up in more than half the positive tests. Cocaine is found in about one of every four positive tests. Note that under the Americans with Disabilities Act you can test for illegal drug use without making a job offer. However, if the drug test is part of a medical exam, you must make a job offer first. A positive test for marijuana could raise some complex issues since under Proposition 215, pot use in some cases may no longer be illegal.