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DNR Loss Prevention Program

Authority for this program is established by Louisiana Revised Statute 39:1527-44

In addition, the Division of Administration, Office of Risk Management Rules are published in Louisiana Register, Vol. 14, No. 6, June 20, 1988 and Vol. 15, No. 2, February 20, 1989.


DNR Loss Prevention Inquiries

Human Resources, Safety & Training 
617 North 3rd Street, 12th Floor P. O. Box 94396
Baton Rouge, LA 70802 Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9396

Drug Testing Policy

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Philosophy

Applicability

Requirements

Drug and Alcohol Testing

Drug Testing Procedures

Alcohol Testing Procedures

Enforcement

Confidentiality/Employee Rights

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Safety-Sensitive Positions


LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Subject: DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING POLICY

I. Philosophy

To deter the use of illegal drugs by employees of the State of Louisiana, the Louisiana Legislature enacted laws which provide for the creation and implementation of drug testing programs for State employees. Further, the Governor of the State of Louisiana issued Executive Order 98-38 providing for the promulgation, by executive agencies, of written policies mandating drug testing of employees, appointees, prospective employees and prospective appointees in accordance with Louisiana Revised Statute 49:1001, et seq. This Department fully supports these actions and is committed to a workplace free of illegal drugs.

II. Applicability

This policy applies to all employees and appointees of this Department, as well as potential employees, potential appointees, and all other persons having an employment relationship with the Department, whether classified, unclassified, student employees, student interns, full-time, part-time or temporary (hereinafter "employee(s)" unless otherwise noted).

Following a job offer or appointment, potential employees will be required to submit to pre-employment drug testing. Employees who encumber Safety-Sensitive Positions and applicants who apply for Safety-Sensitive Positions as defined in this policy are subject to random drug testing, and alcohol testing as provided in this policy. Prior to being reassigned, temporarily detailed, promoted or demoted to a Safety-Sensitive Position, an employee is required to undergo drug test. "Safety-Sensitive Position(s)" shall mean those positions listed on Appendix A, as it may be amended, as new positions are added, or positions are reclassified or redefined.

III. Requirements

1) DNR prohibits the use, abuse and presence of illegal drugs by its employees while on duty or engaged in DNR business, on or off DNR's facility. The presence of illegal drugs in a DNR facility or a Public Vehicle while on or off duty is also prohibited. "Public Vehicle" shall mean any motor vehicle, watercraft or rail vehicle owned or controlled by the state.

a) "Illegal Drugs" include any controlled dangerous substance which is not legally obtainable and any controlled dangerous substance which is legally obtainable, but has been illegally obtained. Controlled dangerous substances are defined in Schedules I, II, III, IV and V of La. R.S. 40:964, as it may be from time to time amended.

2) DNR prohibits:

a) The use of alcoholic beverages while performing a Safety-Sensitive Position or when scheduled "on-call" for a Safety Sensitive Position.

b) The use of alcohol in excess of the Legal Limit, while on duty or scheduled "on-call" for any position other than a Safety-Sensitive Position. "Legal Limit" shall mean the blood alcohol level specified and defined in La. R. S. 14:98 (A) (2), as same may be subsequently supplemented or amended.

IV. Drug and Alcohol Testing

All employees may be required to submit to drug testing as a condition of employment, as a condition of continued employment, or as a condition of promotion, demotion, reassignment or detail to a Safety-Sensitive Position as specified in this policy, and alcohol testing as provided in this policy. Whether announced or unannounced, tests will be administered under the following circumstances:

1) Pre-Employment: Drug tests are required of all prospective employees of this Department. Each prospective employee shall be required to submit to drug screening at the designated time and place following a job offer. Pursuant to La. R.S. 49:1008, a prospective employee testing positive for the presence of illegal drugs, where required and as defined in this policy, shall be eliminated from consideration for employment.

2) Post-Accident/Incident: Any employee directly involved in an on-duty accident shall be required to submit to drug and alcohol testing if:

a) The accident involves circumstances giving rise to a reasonable suspicion that the accident may have involved the employee's drug or alcohol use and the employee's action or inaction may have been a causative factor;

b) The accident meets the criteria of paragraph (a) and results in or causes the release of hazardous waste as defined by La. R.S. 30:2173(2) or hazardous materials as defined by La. R.S. 32:1502(5); or the accident results in a fatality or serious bodily injury.

c) There is not an investigation by a law enforcement officer.

"Reasonable suspicion" is a belief, based upon reliable, objective and articuable facts derived from direct observation of specific physical and behavioral characteristics (behavior, speech, appearance, odor), which causes a prudent person to suspect that an employee has engaged in drug or alcohol use.

Only a departmental appointing authority or the Deputy Secretary shall require an employee to submit to post-accident/incident testing. When possible, this decision will be based upon the recommendation of supervisory personnel at the scene who have objectively and thoroughly reviewed the circumstances of the accident/incident. When no supervisory personnel are available, the decision will be based on any objective and reliable information communicated to the appointing authority/Deputy Secretary. The supervisor making the recommendation, or the appointing authority when no supervisory personnel are available, will fully document the facts upon which the recommendation for testing is made.

Nothing in this policy is to be construed to allow interference with the official law enforcement investigation of an accident. When an official investigation is conducted, this Department shall utilize the results of any drug/alcohol testing conducted by law enforcement officials to determine whether a violation of this policy occurred. When law enforcement officials require an employee of this Department to submit to drug or alcohol testing, it shall be presumed that the requirement of reasonable suspicion required by this policy is satisfied and that a departmental appointing authority or the Deputy Secretary would have required the employee to submit to drug/alcohol testing.

When post-accident/incident testing is ordered, a Departmental representative shall transport the individual being tested to and from the testing site. Under no circumstance should any employee who is reasonably believed to be impaired or under the influence of any drug or alcohol be permitted to operate a motor vehicle.

3) Random: Random drug testing is required of all employees holding Safety-Sensitive Positions. Such testing shall be periodic and unannounced, and employee selection therefor shall be by a computer-generated random selection process. All such testing shall, unless impracticable, occur during the employee's normal work hours.

4) Promotion/Reassignment to Safety-Sensitive Positions: Current employees are required to undergo drug testing prior to being reassigned, temporarily detailed, promoted or demoted to a Safety-Sensitive Position. An offer of promotion, reassignment, detail or demotion will be withdrawn if a positive drug test result is reported, and employees are further subject to disciplinary action as specified in this policy.

5) Reasonable Suspicion: An employee shall be required to submit to drug and alcohol testing when he/she exhibits behavior or appearance that is characteristic of drug or alcohol use in violation of this policy. The decision to test will be by a departmental appointing authority based upon reliable, objective and articulable facts derived from direct observation of the employee's physical appearance, behavior, speech, body odor or physical manifestations. The observation must be made by supervisory personnel (two, if possible) who shall record, in writing, the observations leading to the recommendation for testing. When reasonable suspicion testing is ordered, a Departmental representative shall transport the individual being tested to and from the testing site. Under no circumstance should any employee who is reasonably believed to be impaired or under the influence of any drug or alcohol be permitted to operate a motor vehicle.

6) Return-to-Duty Monitoring: Any employee who retains his/her job following a violation of this policy shall be subject to periodic drug/alcohol testing.

V. Drug Testing Procedures

Drug testing pursuant to this policy shall be for the presence of marijuana, opiates, cocaine, amphetamine/methamphetamine and phencyclidine (PCP) in accordance with La. R.S. 49:1001, et seq. Testing shall be performed by a contractor chosen by the Offices of State Purchasing, Division of Administration, whose testing procedures, at a minimum, shall assure:

1) That all specimens for drug testing are collected, stored, transported and tested in compliance with law, DHHS guidelines (and applicable state regulations) to ensure integrity of the testing process.

2) Urine specimens will be collected with emphasis upon the privacy rights of the employee. Direct observation of the employee during collection of the urine specimen will be allowed only under the following conditions:

a) When there is specific, articuable reason to believe that the individual may alter or substitute the specimen;

b) When the individual has provided a urine specimen which falls outside the acceptable temperature range;

c) When the last urine specimen provided by the individual was verified by the Medical Review Officer as adulterated; or

d) When collection site personnel observe conduct or behavior indicating an attempt to substitute/adulterate the sample or otherwise alter the integrity of the collection process.

In all instances in which direct observation is deemed appropriate, the designated DNR representative shall review and concur, in advance, with any decision by collection site personnel to obtain a specimen under direct observation. This representative shall maintain, in a confidential record, the full name of the reporting collection site personnel and the specific facts relied upon to approve the direct observation. The record shall be signed by the Department representative. All direct observations shall be conducted by same gender collection site personnel.

3) The split sample collection methodology must be used in accordance with La. R.S. 49:1006(D), with both the primary and split specimens properly stored and transported to the testing laboratory. The primary urine sample will be analyzed for the presence of marijuana, opiates, amphetamines/methamphetamine, cocaine and phencyclidine (PCP).

4) Appropriate chain of custody forms shall be utilized to ensure the integrity of each urine specimen by tracking its handling, storage and transportation from point of collection to final disposition.

5) Testing shall be performed by laboratories certified for forensic urine drug testing by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and in strict compliance with DHHS Guidelines.

6) The dual testing procedure shall be used for all samples. Each primary sample that tests positive for a prohibited substance shall be subject to an additional, more precise confirmatory test (gas chromatography/mass spectrometry).

7) All positive test results (those which exceed federally established cut-off levels as set forth in 49 CFR 40, Section 40.29), shall first be reported by the testing laboratory to DNR's qualified Medical Review Officer (MRO). The MRO is a licensed physician knowledgeable of substance abuse who has received specialized training in interpreting and evaluating test results in conjunction with an individual's medical history and other relevant biomedical information. The MRO will review the collection procedure, chain of custody and testing methodology before contacting the employee/appointee/applicant to rule out the possibility of error or that medications, medical history or any other condition caused the positive test result.

8) If the test is confirmed to be positive by the MRO, the employee may, within 72 hours of notification from the MRO, request, in writing, directly to the MRO, that the split specimen (initially collected but separated and stored during the collection process) be tested in a different DHHS certified laboratory. This split sample testing shall be allowed if timely requested and performed at the employee's expense.

9) Once a positive test is confirmed and reported to DNR by the MRO, an employee in a safety-sensitive position will be prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions. A request for testing of the split sample will not delay any such employee's removal from performing safety-sensitive functions.

10) If testing of the split specimen results in a negative result, the MRO will cancel the positive result of the initial test. All doubts shall be resolved in favor of the employee.

VI. Alcohol Testing Procedures

1) Evidential Breath Testing Devices (EBT) approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be used by certified Breath Alcohol Technicians to determine the presence of alcohol in the employee's system.

2) The employee will be advised of the results of the breath screening test. No further testing will be required if the test results are negative. If the screening test is positive for the presence of alcohol, a confirmation test will be performed within twenty minutes, but not less than fifteen minutes of completion of the screening test. If the confirmatory test indicates a blood alcohol concentration in violation of this policy, the results will be reported as positive to DNR's designated representative.

3) An employee occupying a Safety-Sensitive Position will be immediately removed from performing Safety-Sensitive functions in the event of a positive alcohol test.

4) Positive test results will also be reported to the appointing authority whenever an employee refuses to complete or sign the breath alcohol confirmation testing form, provide breath or an adequate amount of breath (excluding medical inability), or fails to cooperate with the testing procedure in any way that prevents completion of the test.

VII. Enforcement

The use or possession of Illegal Drugs, as defined in this policy, or use of alcohol in violation of this policy will not be tolerated. While the Department's position is firm, we will resolve any reasonable doubt regarding the testing procedure or results in the employee's favor.

Disciplinary action will be taken after a complete and thorough review of the applicable data in accordance with Chapter 12 of the Civil Service Rules. Employees will be provided pre-deprivation notice and a meaningful opportunity to respond prior to the imposition of disciplinary action.

1) Penalty for a first positive test:

A first positive drug test or alcohol test which evidences a violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action up to and including the possibility of termination. Factors to be considered in determining the appropriate sanction include, but are not limited to, the employee's work history, length of service, current job performance and the existence of prior disciplinary action.

2) Termination will be considered an appropriate penalty for the following violations:

a) Second positive drug test or alcohol test which evidences a violation of this policy;

b) Refusal to submit to a drug test or alcohol test;

c) Failure to cooperate in any way which prevents the completion of a drug or alcohol test (including, but not limited to, refusing to provide, complete or sign testing forms, refusing to provide urine (excluding medical inability));

d) Submission of an adulterated or substitute sample for testing;

e) Buying, selling, dispensing, distributing, possessing or using any Illegal Drug, while on duty, in a vehicle or on DNR property or using alcohol in violation of this policy; and

f) Operating a Public Vehicle while under the influence of Illegal Drugs or alcohol where testing administered by an authorized official confirms a violation of this Policy.

3) LDNR's Human Resource Director shall be the coordinator for these policies, and the designated point of contact for the Drug Testing Contractor and Medical Review Officer.

VIII. Confidentiality/Employee Rights

All drug and alcohol testing results and records (including all information, interviews, reports and statements) are considered confidential communications, pursuant to La. R.S. 49:1012, and may not be used or received in evidence, obtained in discovery, or disclosed in any public or private proceeding, except in an administrative or disciplinary proceeding or civil litigation where drug use by the tested individual is relevant. Exceptions to these confidentiality provisions are limited to written employee consent; federal agencies when licensure or certification actions are required; to a decision-maker in arbitration, litigation or administrative proceedings arising from a positive drug test; and as otherwise required by law.

In compliance with La. R.S. 49:1011, any employee, upon learning of a confirmed positive test result, shall, upon written request, have the right of access, within seven working days, to records and other documentation relating to the drug testing process and any records relating to the results of any relevant certification, review, suspension/revocation proceedings of the testing facility.

Employees should know that statistical records and reports of drug testing are maintained by DNR, contract physicians and drug testing laboratories. This information is aggregate data and is used to monitor compliance and to assess the effectiveness of the drug testing program.

Nothing contained in this policy will be construed to preclude the delivery of any Illegal Drug discovered in/on DNR/State property, or upon the person of a DNR employee, to law enforcement officials. Any employee selling, dispensing, distributing, possessing or using Illegal Drugs while on duty or on DNR/State property shall be referred to appropriate law enforcement authorities.

IX. Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Early recognition and treatment of drug/alcohol abuse or dependency are essential to successful rehabilitation. Employees experiencing a substance abuse problem are encouraged to seek assistance from the Department's EAP Coordinator within the Human Resources Division. Any such involvement will be held in strict confidence, but employees are advised that supervisors and appointing authorities (who need to know) will be kept abreast of the employee's treatment and leave needs.

JACK C. CALDWELL,
Secretary Department of Natural Resources
October 31, 1999

APPENDIX A

Safety-Sensitive Positions

  • Coastal Resources Scientist 1, 2 and 3 and Coastal Resources Scientist Supervisors [Field Investigators in New Orleans (2), Houma (2), Baton Rouge (1), Lafayette (1) and Lake Charles (1) for a total of 7 positions]
  • Conservation Enforcement Specialists 1, 2 and 3
  • Conservation Program Manager
  • Geologist 1, 2 and 3 (I&M Division, Surface Mining)
  • Geologist Supervisor (I&M Division, Surface Mining)
  • Engineer Intern 1 and 2 (Engineering Division, Oilfield Site Restoration)
  • Engineer 4 (Engineering Division, Oilfield Site Restoration)
  • Petroleum Analyst (Engineering Division, Oilfield Site Restoration)
  • Petroleum Analyst Advanced (Engineering Division, Oilfield Site Restoration)
  • Engineer 5 (Engineering Division, Underwater Obstruction Removal)