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Do You Fall Under the Drug-Free Workplace Act

June 4, 1999
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Related Topics: Substance Abuse, Policies and Procedures, Featured Article
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The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (which you can read more about at the DOL's Drug-FreeWorkplace Advisor) requires some Federal contractors and all Federal grantees to agree that they will provide drug-free workplaces as a condition of receiving a contract or grant from a Federal agency.

Although, all covered contractors and grantees must maintain a drug-free workplace, the specific components necessary to meet the requirements of the Act vary based on whether the contractor or grantee is an individual or an organization. The requirements for organizations are more extensive, because organizations have to take comprehensive, programmatic steps to achieve a workplace free of drugs.

Organizations, with contracts from any U.S. Federal agency, must comply with the provisions of the Act if the contract is:

  1. in the amount of $100,000 or more [The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act of 1994 (FASA) raised the threshold of contracts covered by the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 from $25,000 to those exceeding $100,000.];
  2. not for the acquisition of commercial goods (i.e., it is a procurement contract or purchase order); and
  3. performed in part or in whole in the United States.

All contracts and grants awarded to individuals are covered by the Act, regardless of dollar value. Also, grants awarded to organizations are covered by the Act.

Covered contracts and grants received by organizations, must meet the requirements of the Act by doing the following:

  1. publish a statement notifying employees that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance is prohibited in the person's workplace. The statement should also notify employees of any punitive actions that will be taken.
  2. establish a drug-free awareness program to inform employees about
    1. the dangers of drug abuse in the workplace;
    2. the policy of maintaining a drug-free workplace;
    3. any available drug counseling, rehabilitation, and employee assistance programs; and
    4. the penalties that may be imposed upon employees for drug abuse violations.
  3. make it a requirement that each employee be given a copy of the workplace substance abuse policy.

Any individual who receives a contract or grant from the Federal government, regardless of dollar value, must agree not to engage in the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession or use of a controlled substance in the performance of this contract/grant.

If a contractor is found not to have a drug-free workplace, each contract awarded by any federal agency shall be subject to suspension of payments under the contract or termination of the contract, or both. The contractor may also be ineligible for award of any contract by any federal agency, and for participation in any future procurement by any federal agency, for a period not to exceed 5 years.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Washington, D.C.

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