Alcohol and Substance Abuse Testing Policy

Alcohol and Substance Abuse Testing Policy


California Plumbing& Mechanical Contractors Association and

Southern California Pipe Trades District Council No. 16









                B. SAMPLE COLLECTIONS

                                1. Mobile On-Site Collections

                                2. Clinical Collections


                                1. Pre-employment Testing

                2.  Pre-access Testing

                                3. Post-Accident/Incident Testing

4. Reasonable Suspicion Testing

                                5. Retest

                                6. Federally Mandated Testing

                7. Other Mandated Testing

                D. SPECIMEN ANALYSIS

                E. RECORD KEEPING


A. Determination for Violation of Policy

                B. Confirmed Positive Test Results

                                1. Medical Review Officer Notification

                                2. Illegal and/or Controlled Substances

                                3. Alcoholic or Intoxicating Beverages







 Southern California Pipe Trades District Council No. 16 and employers are committed to establishing and maintaining a drug-free workplace for every employee, covered under the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). As such, the objective of this Substance Abuse Testing & Treatment Program Policy (Policy and Program) is to provide consistent, fair, and manageable procedures for drug and alcohol screening of applicants and employees that will be accepted by participating contractors and job site Owners.

 The purpose of the Policy and Program is to increase on-the-job safety and ensure high quality services and productivity to customers by denying job site presence to individuals whose abilities are impaired by drugs or alcohol or have otherwise violated this policy. The types of testing conducted under this Policy and Program will involve implementation, pre-employment, pre-access, post-accident/incident and reasonable cause/suspicion testing.  This Policy and Program will:

 1. Help produce a safe, healthful and drug-free workplace for all employees;

 2. Increase Union market share with Owners/Customers;

 3. Educate employers and employees on the signs, symptoms and consequences of substance abuse;

 4. Improve work place safety and reduce substance abuse-related injuries and property damage;

 5. Reduce substance abuse-related absenteeism and tardiness;

 6. Deter individuals from bringing, possessing, using, distributing or having in their systems alcohol or other drugs on work time or premises;

 7. Improve the image of our industry;

 8. Improve productivity and service quality.



 As used in this Policy and Program, the following terms shall have the following meaning:

 1. “Accident” – Any event resulting in injury to a person requiring outside medical care or treatment or substantial property damage to which an employee contributed as a direct or indirect cause.

2. “Adulterated Test Result” – The donor has tainted the specimen with a foreign contaminate, such as bleach, to prevent the detection by the laboratory of an illegal or controlled substance.  An adulterated sample is considered an administrative positive and has the same consequences as a confirmed positive test result.

 3. “Alcohol” – The intoxicating agent in beverage alcohol, ethyl alcohol, or other low molecular weight alcohols, including methyl and isopropyl alcohol.

 4. “Applicant” – Any individual who will perform work and has been referred for hire by a UA Local Union or a person selected through a direct hire process. As a condition of employment, applicant must meet the applicable conditions of this policy prior to employment.

 5. “Breath Alcohol Technician” – A person trained to proficiency and certified in the use of Evidential Breath Testing device (EBT).

 6. “Communicator” – Employer and/or Union Representatives designated by the Employer and/or Union to preserve the confidentiality of employee’s drug testing information. The Employer and Union is required to designate both a Primary Communicator and Alternate Communicator.

 7. “Company Premises” – Any and all property, facilities, land, parking lots, structures, and vehicles owned, leased, used or under the control of the Contractor, and any job site to which the Contractor assigns any Employee.

 8. “Diluted Test Result” – A diluted test result means that the specific gravity of the specimen is 1.003 or less and the creatinine level is less than 20 mg/dl. The following are some of the causes for a diluted sample and the related procedures:

 Causes a. Dialysis or chemotherapy b. A kidney or pancreas disorder requiring medical attention.

 c. The individual is attempting to flush out their system of illegal substances.  This requires an enormous amount of water to be consumed over approximately twenty-four (24) hours prior to providing a sample.  The normal consumption of liquids or consuming liquids prior to testing will not cause a sample to be diluted.


 a. A diluted specimen with a creatinine level of less than 20 mg/dl but greater than 5 mg/dl will require the employee to provide another sample.

 b. A diluted specimen with a creatinine level greater than or equal to 2 mg/dl, but less than or equal to 5 mg/dl will require the employee to provide another specimen under direct observation c. A diluted specimen with a creatinine level of less than 2 mg/dl will be ruled as a substituted specimen and will have the same consequences as a positive test result.

 9. “Employee” – Any individual employed by the Contractor or subcontractor who directly or indirectly performs work for a Customer.

 10. “Illegal/Unauthorized Drugs” – Any drug that is illegal and/or the use of a controlled substance by an individual other than the individual for whom the controlled substance was prescribed or the abuse of a controlled substance by the individual for whom it was prescribed.

 11. “Incident” – An event which has all the attributes of an accident, except that no apparent or perceived harm was caused to person or property.

 12. “Legal/Controlled Drugs” – Any prescribed or over-the-counter drug, which has been legally prescribed/obtained and is being used for the purpose for which it was prescribed/manufactured.

 13. “Negative Test Result” – A negative result indicates that the alcohol level is below .02  BAC  (minimum  requirement)  and/or  an  illegal/unauthorized substance below the levels as described in this Policy and Program, has not been detected in the person’s specimen by the laboratory.

 14. “Not Consistent With Human Urine or Substituted Test Result” – This test result is self-explanatory and is determined by the laboratory. A not consistent with human urine or substituted test result has the same consequences as a confirmed positive test result.

 15. “Positive Test Result” – A positive test result indicates that the alcohol level is .02 BAC or above and/or the laboratory and MRO have confirmed an illegal/unauthorized drug(s) in the person’s system as described in this Policy and Program.

16. “Possession” – Actual or constructive care, custody, control or immediate access to illegal or unauthorized drugs.

 17. “Prohibited Substances and Items” include:

 a) Illegal or legal drugs that have not been legally prescribed for the individual and controlled substances, “look-alike”, designer and synthetic drugs and mood or mind altering substances;

 b) Prescribed drugs used in a manner inconsistent with the prescription;

c) Alcoholic beverages; and cannabis.

18. “Reasonable Suspicion” – A belief based on objective and articulated written facts sufficient to lead a supervisor, who has received the proper training, to suspect that drugs or alcohol might influence an individual’s behavior.

Reasonable Suspicion shall be defined as aberrant or unusual on-duty behavior of an employee who:

 a. is observed on-duty by either the employee’s immediate supervisor trained in accordance with this policy, or other managerial personnel of the contractor who has been trained to recognize the symptoms of drug abuse, impairment or intoxication, which observations shall be documented by the observers; b. exhibits the type of behavior which shows accepted symptom(s) of intoxication or impairment caused by controlled substances or alcohol or addiction to or dependence upon said controlled substances or alcohol; and c. exhibits conduct that cannot be reasonably be explained as resulting from other causes, such as fatigue, lack of sleep, side effect of prescription or over-the-counter medications, illness, reaction to noxious fumes or smoke

 Exhibit 1, Reasonable Cause/Suspicion Documentation, should be utilized when an Employee is suspected of alcohol and / or drug use by actions, appearance or conduct, which constitutes a major change in the person’s appearance and/or behavior.  Employees testing for reasonable suspicion shall have the right to have their job steward present during written documentation and testing.

 19. “Safety Sensitive” – A predictable exposure to operations where failure could result in serious harm to public or employee wellbeing, company property, or the environment. Supervisors of company personnel are included.

20. “Substance Abuse Professional (SAP)” – A Substance Abuse Professional is a licensed physician or certified counselor who has received the appropriate training in substance abuse disorders to provide rehabilitation, assistance and recommendations to individuals who have a drug and/or alcohol problem.

 21. “Substance Testing” – Drug analysis by means of urine and alcohol analysis by means of breath, urine, blood, and/or saliva.

 22. “Under the Influence” – The presence of a PROHIBITED SUBSTANCE in body fluids or breath that affects the individual in any detectable manner. The symptoms of influence may be, but are not limited to, slurred speech or difficulty in maintaining balance. Under the Influence for alcohol refers to a breath alcohol content of .02 or greater (minimum requirement).

 23. “Unsuitable Test Result” – The laboratory determines that the specimen   contains a foreign contaminate or the individual has ingested fluids to mask the illegal/unauthorized drug but the levels are not in the range to legally determine if the specimen is adulterated or substituted. An unsuitable test result will require the individual to provide another sample under observation.



 1. This is to notify all employees that the use, abuse, or reporting to work under the influence, bringing onto the worksite, the unlawful manufacture, distribution, possession, transfer, storage, concealment, transportation, promotion or sale of illegal and unauthorized drugs, controlled substances, alcoholic beverages or drug related paraphernalia by employees is strictly prohibited and is a violation of this Policy and Program and subject to disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination.

 2. Employees using prescription medication, which may impair the performance of job duties, either mental or motor functions, must immediately inform the employer’s designated Communicator of such prescription substance use. For the safety of all employees, the Communicator will consult with the individual and the individual’s physician to determine if a reassignment of duties is necessary. The Communicator will attempt to accommodate the employee’s needs by making an appropriate reassignment if required. However, if a reassignment is not possible, the employee will be placed on temporary medical leave until released as fit for duty by the prescribing physician.

 3. Nothing in this policy overrides the employer’s superseding obligation, duty and discretion under OSHA to provide a safe work site.



 Employees shall have the following rights:

1. Provided with this Policy and Program prior to being requested to provide a drug and alcohol test, the employer shall provide each employee with a Consent and Release Form. 2. Allowed the opportunity to request, in writing, a retest of the original sample from a SAMHSA certified laboratory of the individual’s choice. This request must be postmarked within two (2) (recommended) business (M-F) days of the date of being notified of the confirmed positive test result. The retest result shall be communicated in writing to the employee. The right to request a re-test shall be provided to each employee at the time the employee is notified of the initial test result.

 3. Reimbursed for the cost of the retest and paid all lost wages and benefits if retest results in a negative test result.

 4. Specimen collection may occur on-site or at an off-site clinic provided no loss of wages results. Wages will be the responsibility of the employee’s employer.

 5. Except for a retest requested and a return to work test, all costs associated with this Policy and Program shall be borne by the employer (unless said costs are paid by an alternative manner).



 Employees will be required to undergo substance abuse testing to determine the use of any illegal or unauthorized drug, alcohol or substances prohibited by the Policy and Program.

 A. CONFIDENTIALITY: An employee’s expectation of privacy and confidentiality is a top priority of this Policy and Program.  Accordingly, all testing records will be considered confidential and will only be released upon written consent of the employee, except that such information will be released, regardless of consent, to inform the designated contact person in accordance with this policy that the employee is current/non-current/ or pending, and/or upon issuance of a subpoena compelling release of such information from a duly situated and authorized administrative or judicial forum, the parties of a grievance initiated by the employee or union in which the test results are a material issue or to workers compensation carriers and the Unemployment Compensation Commission in which the test results are a material issue.

B. SAMPLE COLLECTIONS: Certified Collection Specialists and Breath Alcohol Technicians will collect all samples, utilizing Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) procedures to insure both proper chain of custody protocols and employee confidentiality are met. All samples will be collected with concern for each employee’s personal privacy, dignity, and confidentiality. The TPA shall provide the following three (3) options for drug and alcohol screening collections:

 1. Mobile On-Site Collections: Certified collectors may be available to conduct the substance abuse collections at the job site, the employer’s office or union hall. 2. Clinical Collections: The TPA shall make arrangements with clinical collection sites for testing of employees.


 The following types of testing will be performed:

1. Pre-employment Testing: Applicants are subject to drug screening to ascertain whether an applicant is capable of safely performing the duties and meeting the prerequisites of the employment offered. Upon meeting these requirements the employee shall receive two (2) hours additional straight time hours of pay on the their pay check.

 2. Pre-Access Testing: Employees shall remain subject to the testing requirements of the Customer for which they are working unless otherwise excluded by the Customer.  

3. Post-Accident/Incident Testing: Employees shall be required to take a drug and alcohol test after having been involved in, or after causing, an accident or incident, which caused or could have caused personal injury or substantial damage to equipment or property.  Testing of employees will be consistently/equally applied to all employees. Drug and alcohol testing by use of blood will only be used for post-accident/incident testing and only when the employee is unable to provide a normal urine drug and/or breath screen. If testing under this policy is ever required of an employee who is in need of medical attention, necessary medical attention will not be delayed in order to collect the specimen. However, such an employee shall promptly, upon request, provide the necessary authorization for obtaining hospital reports and records and any other information at the time the need for medical attention and/or testing arose.

The Company will make transportation arrangements for any employee to be tested following the mandatory guidelines of the Department Health and Human Services (DHHS).

4. Reasonable Suspicion Testing: Employees will be subject to a drug and alcohol test based on reasonable and articulated belief that an employee is using or has recently abused drugs, alcohol or substances prohibited by this Policy and Program. A decision to test will be based on specific physical, behavioral or performance indicators and documented by a supervisor who has received training in the detection of possible symptoms of drugs and alcohol use and must be witnessed by a second supervisor.  

During the process of establishing reasonable suspicion for testing, the employee has the right to request his on-site representative to be present.

The Company will make transportation arrangements for any Employee to be tested following the mandatory guidelines of DHHS.

 5. Retest: Individuals receiving a confirmed positive test result shall have the right to request that their original sample be retested by a SAMHSA certified laboratory of their choice. The request must be postmarked to the Contractor within two (2) (recommended) business (M-F) days of the notification of a confirmed positive test result. The employee requesting the retest shall pay the initial cost for a retest in advance to the MRO. The employee shall be furnished in writing the result of the retest.

 In the event that said retest should prove to be negative, the employee shall be reimbursed for the cost of the test, paid any back wages and benefits lost, and made re-eligible for hire if work is available or reinstated as an employee provided work is available with the contractor.

6. Federally Mandated Testing: Any employee, for whom testing is mandated under a Federal Substance Abuse Testing Program, will remain subject to such testing not withstanding the requirements of this Policy and Program.

 7. Other Mandated Testing: Where public and or/private substance abuse testing by an owner is mandated for a particular site that is more stringent than contained in this policy, the more stringent testing requirements shall supersede the testing requirements contained in this policy.

D. SPECIMEN ANALYSIS: All samples collected under this Policy and Program will be analyzed by a SAMHSA certified laboratory, and shall include an initial Enzyme Multiplied Immunoassay Screening Test (EMIT) and, when necessary, confirmed by a Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) Confirmation Test. Said testing must screen, at a minimum, for the following substances and below the following levels to result in a negative test (Minimum requirement for substances and levels. Depending on the types of drug abuse in an area, the Committee may want to consider adding Ecstasy, etc.):

Drugs Tested  (EMIT) Initial Test Cut-Off Level (ng/ml)   (GC/MS) Confirmation Test Cut-Off Level (ng/ml)

 Amphetamines 1000 500

Barbiturates 300 200

Benzodiazepines 300 200

Cannabinoids (Marijuana – THC) 50 15

Cocaine Metabolite 300 150

Methadone 300 200

Opiates 300 300

Phencyclidine (PCP) 25 25

Propoxyphene 300 200

Breath/Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) .02% .02%

1. Southern California Pipe Trades District Council No. 16 shall have the right to change the drugs tested, the cut-off levels and the analysis procedures as new technology in substance abuse testing warrants.

2. Any worker who provides an unsuitable test result will be required to have subsequent drug tests observed.

3. Blood, saliva or breath screen tests are acceptable for alcohol testing. 4. Saliva screening for alcohol will utilize the QED-A150, which gives a quantitative reading (a range of alcohol from 0 – 150 mg/dl). If the QEDA150 registers any level equal to or greater than 20 md/dl (.02%), then a Breath Alcohol Test will be performed. A confirmed screening level less than 20 md/dl (.02%) is considered negative.

 E. RECORD KEEPING: Hard copy testing results shall be maintained by the TPA for the following specified periods: Negative test results will be maintained for one (1) year Positive test results will be maintained for five (5) years Rehabilitation records will be maintained for five (5) years.



An employee’s failure to comply with any provisions of the Policy and Program shall be cause for disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination.

A. Determination for Violation of Policy:

1. A confirmed positive drug or alcohol test result.

2. Failure or refusal to sign Notice of Policy and Consent to be tested.

3. Failure to contact the Medical Review Officer as directed.

4. Failure to report as directed for testing.

 5. The use, possession, sale or distribution of alcohol or a controlled illegal or unauthorized substance, or the presence of any employee in the work place with such ingested substances for non-medical reasons.

6. Working, reporting  to  work,  being  in  the  work  place,  or  in  a Customer/Employer owned, leased or rented vehicle while Under The Influence Of Alcohol (.02 BAC or greater).

7. Switching, adulterating, or attempting to tamper with any sample submitted for drug or alcohol testing, or otherwise interfering or attempting to interfere with the testing process.

8. Refusal to submit a specimen for testing will be viewed as a positive test and will carry with it the same consequences as specimens tested and confirmed as positive.

9. The use of a controlled substance by an individual other than the individual for whom the controlled substance was prescribed or the abuse of a controlled substance by the individual for whom it was prescribed.

 B. Confirmed Positive Test Results:

 1. Employer Notification

 After the reporting of a non-negative test by the laboratory, it will be necessary for the Employer/Medical Review Officer to speak with the employee to allow the individual the opportunity to provide documentation for any legal/controlled drug(s). Employees who fail to contact the Employer/Medical Review Officer within 2 business days of their notification will be reported as a non-contact positive, and will carry the same consequences as a confirmed positive test.

2. ILLEGAL AND/OR CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES Any employee who receives a confirmed positive test result for a substance prohibited by the Policy and Program will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination.


The following actions of an employee that involve alcoholic beverages are prohibited by the Policy and Program and any violation thereof and the employee will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including, immediate termination: a. The consumption, manufacture, distribution, possession, use, sale, or storage of any alcoholic beverage while on or in the work place is prohibited. b. The performance or attempted performance of any job function or the operation of any Owner and/or contractor property or equipment while Under the Influence of Alcohol. c. An alcohol screening and confirmation result of .02 BAC or greater.



Where reasonable suspicion exists that an employee is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled illegal or unauthorized substance or has violated the policy pertaining to the possession, sale or distribution of alcohol or a controlled illegal or unauthorized substance, such employee shall be subject to an unannounced search for illegal/unauthorized drugs, controlled substances, or alcohol on the contractor’s or owner’s premises. Such searches may include, but are not limited to an employee’s work area, locker, lunch box, purse, vehicle and any other personal property in the employee’s possession on the employer’s or owner’s premises. Any employee who fails to cooperate in a search will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination. The employee shall have the right to have his or her union representative to be present while any searches are conducted.


VIII. GRIEVANCE All aspects of this Policy and Program shall be subject to the grievance procedure of the applicable collective bargaining agreement.



1. The Contractors will pay the cost of all specimen collections and testing under this Policy and Program, unless explicitly excluded in this Policy and Program (unless said costs are paid by an alternative manner).

2. Any employee who loses time from working in order to provide a specimen(s) for drug and alcohol testing will be paid by the employer for such lost time.

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