Friday HR in the News

Issue #1: The EBINC.com website has reported that there are new guidelines for drug testing in the workplace. EBI reports that the changes are:

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) recently announced that the agency has accepted the recommendations of the Drug Testing Advisory Board (DTAB) to revise the DHHS Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs in the following two areas: 

  1. Expand the drug testing panel to include additional Schedule II prescription medications (e.g. hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone)  prescription painkiller opioid drugs, and;
  2. Include oral fluid as an alternative specimen for Federal Drug Free Workplace Programs (DFWP) testing. 

This is certainly great news to help support workplace drug testing programs as it provides more tools for employers to detect drugs of abuse. The Department of Transportation (DOT) will now be tasked with making a rulemaking change to finalize this rollout.  Understand that there will be continued deliberation, debate and also comment before these changes are put into place.  It could take several months before this will actually affect federal drug testing programs.

Issue #2 : Wolters Kleurer reports that The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued a final rule that extends its existing recordkeeping requirements under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the ADA to entities that are covered by Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), according to a notice scheduled for publication in the Federal Register on February 3, 2012.

Title II of GINA protects job applicants, current and former employees, labor union members, and apprentices and trainees from discrimination based on their genetic information. Title II of GINA, like VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, covers employers with 15 or more employees, employment agencies, labor unions, and joint labor-management training programs, as well as federal sector employers.

GINA was signed into law on May 21, 2008; Title II became effective on November 21, 2009. The commission has issued interpretive regulations under GINA (75 FR 68912), as well as a final rule implementing changes to its administrative and procedural regulations (74 FR 63981).

Issue #3: Do you have operations in the state of Indiana? The Governor has just signed new legislation which makes the state the first state in the midwest and the first in a decade to proclaim the state of Indiana is now a right to work state.

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