Maine Drug Laws
We are going to explore two aspects of Maine drug laws and the information necessary to learn how to pass a drug test in Maine.
Learning The Basics Of Maine Drug Laws.
First, we are not attorneys and can not provide specific advice on the Maine Drug Laws. It is very important you seek professional advice skilled with legal advice that is familiar with the ins and outs of local Maine drug laws.
Second, for those of you who are concerned with those Maine Drug Laws being applied to you, we offer information on the major just four major drug tests one might be facing in Maine.
There Are Four Major Drug Tests Given In Maine.
Each drug test has its own specific strengths you must avoid and weakness in which one can take advantage. What you learn here could make the difference between failing and passing a drug test in Maine.
Maine Law Places Many Restrictions On Employers Who Want To Drug Test.
Maine place restrictions on employers who want to require drug tests. Maine does not require or encourage drug testing. In fact, Maine has stricter rules for employers who wish to test than most states.
Drug Testing for Maine Applicants.
Employers may require an applicant to take a drug test only if the applicant has been offered a job or a spot on an eligibility list from which applicants will be selected for employment.
Drug Testing for Maine Employees.
Maine employers may require en employee to take a drug test only if:
- there is probable cause to believe that the employee is under the influence of drugs
- the employee is in rehabilitation or treatment, or is returning to work following a positive test result, or
- the employer has set up a random testing program that meets the state’s requirements.
Probable Cause Testing.
An employer may require an employee to take a drug test if a supervisor, company security personnel, or a licensed physician or nurse, has reasonable grounds to believe that the employee is under the influence of drugs. This belief may not be based solely on:
- the statement of an anonymous informant
- a report of the employee’s off-duty possession or use of drugs, unless it occurred on or near the employer’s premises, during or right before working hours, or
- a single accident.
The person who decides that there is probable cause to test must put the facts on which that decision is based in writing and give a copy to the employee.
Testing After Rehabilitation or Positive Test.
An employer may require an employee who returns to work after a positive drug test to take another drug test. This test must take place at least 90 days after the employee’s previous positive test, and not more than one year after the previous test. If an employer wants to test outside of this time frame, it must have another justification.
If an employee is undergoing rehabilitation or treatment for substance abuse, the employee may be required to submit to drug testing as required by the program. However, the employer may not require such testing itself, and the program may not share the results of such testing with the employer.
Random Testing In Maine.
An employer may require random drug testing if such testing is agreed upon in a collective bargaining agreement or if the employer limits such testing to employees in positions for which drug use would create an unreasonable threat to public safety or the safety of other employees. Maine law states that this second basis for random testing is to be defined narrowly.
An employer may also establish a random testing program that applies to all employees, but only if all of the following requirements are met:
- The employer must have at least 50 employees who are not covered by a collective bargaining agreement.
- The testing policy must be developed by a committee that includes a medical professional and at least ten employees.
- The labor department must approve the policy.
- The employer may not discipline, terminate, or take other negative action against an employee for serving or refusing to serve on the committee that develops the testing policy.
- The employees must be selected for testing by a third-party who is outside the employer’s influence, and the list from which employees are tested may not provide identifying information.
- Employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement may not be included, unless the agreement so provides.
Notice and Procedural Rights for Employees.
An employer that conducts drug testing must adopt a written policy that has been approved by the state labor department. The employer must provide written copies of the policy to employees at least 30 days before it starts testing. Employees must receive notice 60 days’ in advance if the employer changes the policy.
Before starting a drug-testing program, an employer with more than 20 full-time employees must have an employee assistance program.
Legal Claims Arising From Drug Testing.
Have you been illegally asked or required to take a drug test in Maine? Even though Maine Drug Laws allow an employer to drug test, many employees and might may have legal claims based on how the test was conducted, who was tested or how the results were used.
Here are some examples:
- Violation of Maine Drug Laws And Procedures. Although an employer has the legal right to test, it must follow the state’s requirements. An Maine employer that doesn’t provide the required notice of its testing policy or observe state procedural rights (for example, by failing to conduct a confirmation test after an initial positive result or by allowing unauthorized personnel to perform the test) could face legal problems.
- Disability Discrimination. An applicant or employee who is taking medication for a disability is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Some prescribed medications turn up on drug tests and some drugs that would otherwise be illegal (such as opiates) are legitimately prescribed for certain conditions. If an applicant is turned down because of a positive drug test and the applicant’s medication was legally prescribed for a disability, the company could be liable.
- Other Discrimination Claims. An employer who singles out certain groups of employees – for example, by race, age, or gender – for drug testing could face a discrimination claim.
- Invasion Of Privacy. Even an employer that is allowed or required to test might violate employee privacy in the way it conducts the test. For example, requiring employees to disrobe or provide a urine sample in front of others could be a privacy violation.
- Defamation. An employee might have a valid claim for defamation if the employer ( that the employee tested positive, if the employer has reason to know that the test might not be accurate. For example, if a retest showed that the first test was a false positive or the employee has appealed the first test, the employer may be liable for revealing the results of the positive test beyond those with a need to know.
Breakdown Of Maine Drug Laws.
|Statute of Order:||Maine Rev. Stat. §26:681 et seq.|
|Covered Employers:||Public and private employers.|
|Applicant Testing:||Applicant testing authorized if applicant has been offered employment or a position on a roster of eligibility. Employer may refuse to hire employee who refuses to test or who tests positive.|
|Employee Testing:||Employee testing authorized if there is probable cause for suspicion of substance abuse that is not based solely on the occurrence of an accident. Random testing authorized of employee returning to work after positive test, of employees in safety-sensitive jobs, and pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement. Employee who tests positive may be referred for counseling or treatment. Discipline or discharge authorized for refusal to submit to test, for subsequent positive result, or for failure to complete treatment.|
|Conditions & Methods:||Written policy providing for testing by certified laboratory, sample collection by nurse or doctor in medical facility, confirming test for employees testing positive, 3-day period for employee to explain or contest findings, and employee option to provide blood rather than urine sample. Before implementation of testing, employers of 25 or more must make suitable arrangements with certified employee assistance program.|
|Testing Bullet Points:||
The Maine Drug Law For Marijuana Possession.
The Vast Majority Of Drug Test Failures in Maine Are For Breaking Maine Drug Laws For Marijuana, Not Federal Or Local Laws.
Maine drug laws have their own specific strengths you must avoid and weakness in which one can take advantage when it comes to marijuana. The same is true of the Federal Laws concerning marijuana.
Marijuana is the third most popular recreational drug in Maine behind only alcohol and tobacco. Marijuana has been used by nearly 100 million Americans at one time or another with an equal cross-section of people in Maine using marijuana. According to the federal government, some 25 million Americans have smoked marijuana in the past year and more than 14 million do so regularly despite harsh laws against its use. Maine is no exception in its implementation of marijuana law.
Unlike alcohol, for which impairment can be reasonably measured using a breathalyzer, valid detection for marijuana requires drug testing. This is time-consuming, complicated and the drug tests for marijuana cannot determine an approximate degree of impairment. The detection of marijuana is also complicated by the various types of drug testing available and the types of myths, half-truths and rumors that surround marijuana drug testing.
Overview Of Maine Drug Test Laws.
- Clearly Defined State Law – Maine has a well etched, State Law and is a ‘Mandatory’ State. This essentially means that if an employer wants to conduct tests with regards to drugs or alcohol then they must be conducted under the aegis of the drug testing law of the State.
- Policy – Rules and Regulations – An employer must seek an approval of the Department of Labor, for the written drug testing policy. An employee committee must be set up in the event of there being more than 50 full time employees working with the company; this committee must configure a random testing policy, if random tests are to be conducted. This policy then must be submitted for approval.
- Clearly Defined Policy – All the procedural requirements and consequences of the testing must be clearly defined in the policy. Various aspects of the process like the collection of samples, removal of clothing, observations methodology or rules and regulations etc must be mentioned clearly in the policy.
- Requirement of Notice, If any – An employee must be informed about the approved policy through a copy of the same. This should be provided to him/her 30 days before the process of testing begins. In the event of any changes in the policy being approved, then the same must be provided to all employees, a minimum 60 days before the start of the testing.
- What are the Costs? – The onus of the costs of all substance abuse test lies on the employer. The cost of all additional substance abuse tests will also be incurred by the employer, with a few exceptions.
- Costs Incurred by Employee – The employee pays for the substance abuse tests if there is a confirmation of the positive result in the employee’s sample. There are various exceptions and policy rules and regulations for the same.
- Post Testing – Even if the first test has returned positive the employee may not be discharged. There must be confirmation of all initial screen results. However, the services of the employee can be discharged if the employee refuses to go through the rehabilitation process or there is another positive result.
- Other Consequences – An employer may offer the employee an opportunity for treatment, up to six months. Moreover, the consequence of a positive test could affect the employee’s eligibility with regards to the various unemployment laws or the State worker’s compensation.
- Specific Time for Tests – Permitted testing of employees must take place within a specific time frame. Testing can take place if an offer of employment has been made by the employer, if the employment is subject to a negative result in the drug test, in the event of probable cause, etc, and various other reasons.
- Specification Application of Tests – The tests can be applied to any employee or applicant. However, there must be a clear definition of the specific drug or alcohol test with regards to the State of Maine. Exception could be made in case of tests that are federally mandated.