November Meeting Recap

Nov 15, 2018

November Meeting Recap

“The Safety Lawyer” National Capital Chapter member Adele Abrams presented on Marijuana and Opiates in the workplace for our November Meeting hosted by Davis Construction. Her presentation delved not only into the OSHA changes with regard to drug testing but also how EEOC, ADA, and Workers Compensation laws affect drug testing policy and use of drugs in the workplace. Her presentation is also linked below.

Adele shared that there are five key components that need to be included in any Substance Abuse Plan and she stated that this is a top down approach:

  1. A Written Policy
  2. Supervisor Training for detection, understanding, confidentiality, etc.
  3. Employee Education
  4. Employee Assistance
  5. Testing

Here are a few other key points from her talk:

  • Employees using medical marijuana and opiates need to be viewed as managing a medical condition, not as drug abusers.
  • Safety sensitive positions should be documented on job postings.
  • Do you want to push employees toward opiates because there is a zero tolerance for medical marijuana?
  • Employers need to work with their MRO to understand if medical marijuana is being reported to employers through their drug testing and how.
  • Think about keeping Narcan on jobsites in much the same way you keep AEDs and First Aid kits.
  • Working in a variety of states may necessitate a variety of plans.
  • The only federal requirement for testing is for CDL Drivers.
  • Drug addiction and alcoholism are covered disabilities.
  • There is case law pending about potentially paying for medical marijuana under workers compensation.


Here is the presentation: