Standard includes the right for employers to request drug-free applicants

The IBEW and the NECA recently adopted a national substance abuse testing policy that will be mandatory in all national and local collective bargaining agreements between the two organizations and their local unions and chapters. The standards of the agreement include the right of an employer to request drug-free applicants from a pool of workers who have previously passed the test.

No worker will forced to be part of the drug-free pool or to submit to testing unless a “reasonable cause,” like possession or selling of prohibited substances, has been identified. All local programs will include a rehabilitation component for those employees who test positive, and a medical officer will review positive test results and must sign a release before that employee can return to work. Part of the policy states that only independent, certified laboratories are to conduct all drug testing.