The goal of the Drug and Alcohol-Free Workplace program is to maintain public safety and to achieve a workplace that is drug and alcohol-free as intended by Executive Order 12564. The program is designed to improve the safety and security of the agency, its employees and the general public. Scientific and technical procedures are defined by the Department of Health and Human Services Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs and Department of Transportation (DOT) Order 3910.1D, Drug and Alcohol-free Departmental Workplace (absent a DHS Drug-free Workplace policy, DHS components have been instructed to continue using their legacy policy guidance).
Who Is Subject to Testing?
Regulations require a Federal employee who works in a safety-sensitive position to be subject to drug, and in some cases, alcohol testing. This type of position is referred to as Testing Designated Position (TDP). Additionally, any position that is occupied by an individual requiring a Secret, Top Secret or higher security clearance is a TDP for drug testing only. A position requiring a Commercial Driver's License is designated for drugs and alcohol testing. A list of covered positions can be found at in the Appendix of the DOT Order at the link to the right under References.
Types of Testing
- Under random testing provisions, any covered employee (in a TDP) has an equal statistical chance of being selected for testing within a specific time frame. Random testing is unannounced and could occur on any workday. Random testing is done during the period when an employee is considered to be performing his/her safety sensitive functions.
- An applicant for a covered position is subject to pre-employment/pre-appointment testing for drugs, or drugs and alcohol (depending on the position). Any applicant having a verified positive drug test or confirmed alcohol concentration measuring 0.02 or greater will be refused employment.
- Reasonable Suspicion
- Reasonable suspicion testing may be required of an employee in a TDP when management believes an employee is either using illegal drugs, whether on or off duty, or misusing alcohol on duty. Reasonable suspicion testing may also be required of an employee in a non-TDP when management believes the employee is engaging in on-duty drug use or is drug impaired while on duty. This belief must be based on specific objective fact and reasonable inferences drawn from these facts in light of experience. Reasonable suspicion does not require certainty; however, mere hunches are not sufficient to meet this standard. Reasonable suspicion testing will be ordered ONLY by a management official with the CONCURRENCE of appropriate legal counsel.
- Reasonable suspicion testing of an employee for alcohol in a non-TDP is not authorized.
- Testing for the presence of drugs and alcohol will be conducted following an accident or other occurrence involving one or more of the following
- A fatality;
- An injury requiring medical treatment away from the accident site;
- Substantial damage to aircraft, boat, other vehicles or property; or
- Other unsafe practices as defined by the agency or regulations, such as operational errors
- The decision to subject an employee to a Post-Accident test must be made using the best information that is reasonably available to management at or about the time of the accident or incident. Only an employee whose job performance, at or about the time of the accident, provides reason to believe that the performance may have contributed to the accident or incident, or cannot be completely discounted as a contributing factor to the accident or incident, will be subject to drug and alcohol testing.
- Procedures for arranging a reasonable suspicion or post-accident test can be found within the Emergency Response Procedures document link on the right under Related Topics.
- Prior to an employee’s return to the performance of safety- or security-sensitive duties, after engaging in prohibited conduct, he/she must undergo a return-to-duty test. An employee in a TDP will be subject to follow-up testing for a minimum of one year after return to safety- or security-sensitive duties unless it is medically determined that a longer period is required. An employee in a non-TDP shall be subject to follow-up testing for one year after completion of the rehabilitation program. An employee in a non-TDP shall not be subject to alcohol testing during the follow-up period.
- An employee who has had a positive test for drugs or alcohol and has completed an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and DOT-approved rehabilitation program must take a Return-to-Duty test prior to return to safety- or security-sensitive duties. After a successful Return-to-Duty test the employee is subject to a year of unannounced follow-up testing as well as random testing. The frequency of follow-up testing is determined by the Medical Review Officer (MRO) in coordination with EAP and may be altered at anytime during the one year follow-up period. Before follow-up testing begins, the employee will be provided with written notice that he/she has been entered into the follow-up drug (and alcohol, if applicable) testing program and will be subject to unannounced drug and/or alcohol testing.
- An employee in non-TDP position may volunteer for drug testing by submitting a request in writing to his/her immediate supervisor. The request shall include the following data:
- Name of employee
- Occupational series and title
- Social Security number
- Organizational code/routing symbol
- Duty location/facility address
- The supervisor shall forward the request to the Drug Program Coordinator (DPC). An employee cannot volunteer for alcohol testing.