An employer must adhere to the Oklahoma Statutes governing drug and alcohol testing or it may face civil liability for failing to do so. Private employers are not limited to which categories of employees can be tested; however, employers are only allowed to conduct a test pursuant to a detailed written policy and can only be performed by qualified individuals with due regard for the privacy of the individual being tested.
Drug and alcohol testing is allowed for applicant and transfer/reassignment testing, reasonable suspicion testing, post-accident testing, random testing, scheduled and periodic testing, and post-rehabilitation testing. The employer is responsible for paying the costs associated with any drug test mandated by the employer and cannot shift that cost to the employee or applicant; however, if an employee or applicant requests a confirmation test of a sample within twenty-four (24) hours of receiving notice of a positive test in order to challenge the results of a positive test, the employee or applicant shall pay all costs of the confirmation test, unless the confirmation test reverses the findings of the challenged positive test. In such case, the employer shall reimburse the individual for the costs of the confirmation test.
Records of any drug and alcohol testing maintained by the employer are considered property of the employer, but must be made available for copying and inspection by the employee or applicant upon request by the employee or applicant. The test records may not be disclosed by the employer except under statutorily enumerated circumstances.
A willful violation of the Oklahoma Statutes governing drug and alcohol testing could subject an employer to civil liability for lost wages and an equal amount of liquidated damages. Because civil liability may result if an employer violates Oklahoma law governing drug and alcohol testing, employers should take the time to consult with an experienced attorney about drafting an appropriately detailed drug and alcohol testing policy and program that is compliant with Oklahoma law.
*Disclaimer: The above is only a general description of law and is not meant to provide any legal advice to any readers.