State Lawmakers Approve Workplace Drug Testing

State legislators across the country are looking to the example set by West Virginia, after comprehensive workplace drug testing was instituted. Senate Bill No. 657 seeks to ensure that all employees working on state contracts for public development projects are drug free. The language of the West Virginia Alcohol and Drug-Free Workplace Act requires “public improvement contractors to have and implement a drug-free workplace program that requires drug and alcohol testing.” Sen. Andy McKenzie, the main sponsor of the act, has said that the intent of the legislation is to provide stiffer penalties for any employees who endanger the lives of others due to drug or alcohol abuse.

Due to reports from members of the construction industry that employee drug use was compromising safety and productivity, lawmakers worked quickly to require employee drug testing. Reception to the law has been highly positive so far, with on the job accidents being reduced and contractors reporting a rise in productivity. Other states around the country have noticed West Virginia’s success with workplace drug testing, and similar proposals are being considered.


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