Rhode Island Drug Laws

We are going to explore two aspects of Rhode Island drug laws and the information necessary to learn how to pass a drug test in Rhode Island.

Learning The Basics Of Rhode Island Drug Laws.  

First, we are not attorneys and can not provide specific advice on the Rhode Island Drug Laws.  It is very important you seek professional advice skilled with legal advice that is familiar with the ins and outs of local Rhode Island drug laws.

Second, for those of you who are concerned with those Rhode Island Drug Laws being applied to you, we offer information on the major just four major drug tests one might be facing in Rhode Island.

 

There Are Four Major Drug Tests Given In Rhode Island.

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 Rhode Island.

Urine Drug Test Information.The Urine Drug Test is the most pop­u­lar, the least com­pli­cated and is by far the eas­i­est to beat.

Hair Drug Test Information.The Hair Drug Test can use any hair on your body, detect usage for at 90+ days and is the hard­est to beat.
Saliva Mouth Drug Test Information.The Saliva Drug Test can be given anywhere, is hard to beat and always requires a detox prod­uct to pass.
The Best Blood Drug Test Information.The Blood Drug Test is rare, has a short drug detec­tion time but is often given with a urine test.

 
 

Rhode Island Places Strict Limits On Employer Drug Testing.

How To Pass A Drug Test Under Rhode Island Drug Laws.

Rhode Island employers are not required to drug test applicants or employees.

Drug Testing for Rhode Island Applicants.

Employers in Rhode Island may require applicants to take a drug test after making a condition offer of employment. Employees must be allowed to provide test samples in private, outside the presence of any person. A positive result must be confirmed by a retest in a federally certified laboratory. 

Drug Testing for Rhode Island Employees.

A Rhode Island employer may require an employee to take a drug test only if there are reasonable grounds, based on specific observations, to believe the employee is using controlled substances that are impairing job performance. Testing is not allowed in any other situations.

The employee must be allowed to provide the test sample in private, outside the presence of anyone else. A positive test result must be confirmed by a retest in a federally certified laboratory, and the employee has the right to have the sample retested separately at the employer’s expense.

An employer may not fire the employee on the basis of a positive drug test result, but must instead refer the employee to a licensed substance abuse professional. After the referral, the employer may require additional testing and may terminate the employee if those test results show that the employee is continuing to use drugs. 

Legal Claims Arising From Drug Testing.

Have you been illegally asked or required to take a drug test in Rhode Island?  Even though Rhode Island 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.

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Here are some examples:

  • Violation of Rhode Island Drug Laws And Procedures.  Although an employer has the legal right to test, it must follow the state’s requirements.  An Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island Drug Laws.

State: Rhode Island
Statute of Order: R.I. Gen. Laws §28-6.5-1 et seq.
Covered Employers: Public and private employers.
Applicant Testing: Applicant testing authorized in the private sector after offer of employment has been made. In public sector, testing authorized for jobs involving public safety or when required by federal law.
Employee Testing: Employee testing authorized on reasonable suspicion of substance abuse and in conjunction with rehabilitation program. Random testing prohibited.
Conditions & Methods: Confirming test in case of positive findings, privacy for employee in collection of specimen, opportunity for employee to rebut test findings.
Testing Bullet Points:
  • Employers need to promulgate a drug abuse prevention policy that is in strict compliance with the provisions of the law. An employer who violates these provisions will be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a jail sentence of up to 1 year.

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  • There are no regulations particular to how initial testing may be performed but confirmation tests must always be performed by federally certified testing laboratories only.
  • Employers requiring any physical examination as a condition of employment must pay for the cost of examination whether or not the prospective employee is hired. The cost of confirmation testing which may be done by an independent authorized laboratory at the employee’s request must also be at the employer’s expense.
  • Pre-employment drug testing for State and municipal agencies or bureaus is mandatory and applicable only to law enforcement officers, correctional officers and firefighters as well as for positions that are required by federal regulations to undergo testing for substance abuse.
  • Employment required drug testing is authorized only for reasonable grounds based on the employee’s job performance and observations of the employee’s appearance, behavior or speech that shows the use of controlled substance impairs the employee’s ability to perform the job.
  • Employees who are initially tested positive for controlled substances may not be terminated by their employers but must rather be referred to a substance abuse professional for assistance. Follow-up testing may be required by the employer and if such tests indicate continued use of controlled substances, the employer may then proceed with terminating the employee.
 

The Rhode Island Drug Law For Marijuana Possession.

The Vast Majority Of Drug Test Failures in Rhode Island Are For Breaking Rhode Island Drug Laws For Marijuana, Not Federal Or Local Laws.

Federal And Rhode Island Drug Test Laws On Marijuana.

Rhode Island Drug Laws On Marijuana.

Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island 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.  Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island Drug Test Laws.

  1. Legal View – Rhode Island State law defines necessary drug tests for certain jobs. Apart from the mandatory jobs, the state does not limit or direct employers to have employees undergo drug tests. The law states the procedure and agency that will be recognized in case of a contest to a claim.
  2. Individuals – Rhode Island mandates the need for regular drug and alcohol tests for contractors and sub-contractors working on public works projects. The law allows testing of students as well. Employers may choose to send all employees or those engaged in high-risk jobs for drug testing
  3. Policy – The law does not mandate the need for a written policy except in the public works construction projects. A policy becomes a necessity when contesting a worker’s compensation/ unemployment claim. The presence of a policy provides a guideline to the organization in the absence of a legal framework.
  4. Testing Positive – The law mandates that contractors and sub-contractors employed in public works construction projects must be banned or removed from the project if the test result is positive. A worker’s compensation claim may be reduced by up to 15%, limited to a maximum of $15000, in case of a positive result.
  5. Drugs  – SAMHSA-required substance tests are necessarily carried out on public works contractors and sub-contractors. Apart from this, the law does not mandate a list of drugs to be tested for.
  6. Agency – The public works project contractors and sub-contractors are made to go to a SAMHSA-approved drug testing agency for carrying out the tests. Other employers are free to choose the drug testing agency, but will require a report from a SAMHSA-approved agency when they decide to take legal recourse against an individual.
  7. Timing – Public works construction project contractors and sub-contractors may be randomly asked to submit to substance testing procedures. Substance tests must be carried out after an accident at a public works site to rule out the possibility of intoxication being the cause. Behavior changes in public works contractors and sub-contractors that point to the possibility of substance abuse are also a trigger for a substance test. The law does not specify the appropriate timing for drug tests for other types of jobs. Regular and random tests may be carried out on the decision of the employer.
  8. Cost  – The law directs employers to bear the total cost of medical exams. However, it is yet to determine and state whether drug/ alcohol tests form part of medical exams.
  9. Notices  – Notices are not mandated at the workplace under state law. The absence of a notice cannot be regarded as a reason for substance abuse at the workplace.
  10. Method – State law accepts the test results of SAMHSA-certified procedures or there may be a court decision on the procedures that are necessary for public works contractors and sub-contractors. The procedure adopted for other work types comes under question if there is a need for legal action.