Just about every one of our Outside Line Contractors will perform a pre-employment drug test with random drug tests and for cause testing during the course of one’s employment. The Outside Line Construction agreement contains language that supports these tests and in most cases is a requirement from the customer.
Section 3.16 in the agreement states:
“The dangers and costs that alcohol and other chemical abuses can create in the electrical contracting industry in terms of safety and productivity are significant. The parties to this Agreement resolve to combat chemical abuse in any form and agree that, to be effective, programs to eliminate substance abuse and impairment should contain a strong rehabilitation component. The local parties recognize that the implementation of a drug and alcohol policy and program must be subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Such policies and programs must also be administered in accordance with accepted scientific principles, and must incorporate procedural safeguards to ensure fairness in application and protection of legitimate interests of privacy and confidentiality. To provide a drug-free workforce for the Electrical Construction Industry, each IBEW local union and NECA chapter shall implement an area-wide Substance Abuse Testing Policy. The policy shall include minimum standards as required by the IBEW and NECA. Should any of the required minimum standards fail to comply with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations, they shall be modified by the local union and chapter to meet the requirements of those laws and regulations”
With the language in the agreement Local Union 1245 and the Western Line Chapter of NECA have established a drug and alcohol testing program several years ago. The policy that is in place basically mirrors the DOT testing policies with responsibility on both the contractor to notify the union if someone fails or refuses a test as well as guidelines that prohibit the member from being offered another job until specific criteria are met. It is also important to know that failing to take a test carries the same return to work criteria as a failed test.
So what will you need to do if you fail a test?
If you fail a test, either pre-employment or random, in most cases you will be terminated from the contractor. When you return to the hall to sign the books it will be noted of the reason for your dismissal in the system. You will still be allowed to sign the out of work books; however, you will not be offered any jobs until the following criteria are met.
- You must be evaluated by a Substance Abuse Professional
- Follow and successfully complete all recommended rehabilitation
- Must provide us with documentation that these things have been completed and that you are ready to return to work.
- In addition to this several of our contractors report all failed tests to DOT and you will be subject to all additional requirements they will impose such as Post – Rehabilitation and Follow-up
Anyone who is on our out of work lists must know that there is no room in our industry for substance abuses the consequences are way too high! Everyone must know that there is almost a 100% chance they will be tested when they take a call and if they fail or refuse a test it will hamper their ability to obtain work in our jurisdiction for a long time.