Answer

If an employee informs the employer that they are using a CBD product, what is the employers responsibility if that employee is in a safety-sensitive position?

The employer’s responsibility is to explain that there is no exception (under DOT regulations) for the use of any product that presents as THC metabolites and exceeds set thresholds on a DOT drug screen. If it is non-DOT, they should refer to the company policy. If the policy accepts CBD oil, then that should be communicated.

Our lab partners use the most advanced screening technology, including screening methods to detect synthetic urine, to ensure quality control measures are in place for donors who try and cheat on a drug test. For more information on fake urine products and their effects on drug tests, read our fake urine blog here: https://disa.com/blog/fake-urine-and-drug-test-abuse

There is no test for CBD, DISA’s tests will screen for THC or cannabinoids. Any test that screens for THC or cannabinoids is going to report findings for THC or cannabinoids that exceed the panel thresholds (levels). The origin of the substance will not be considered by the Medical Review Officer (MRO). DISA’s non-DOT corporate policy offers clients the option to customize testing panels.

A recent case involving a major retail chain fired an Arizona employee for testing positive for marijuana despite the fact that they possessed a medical marijuana card and disclosed that information prior to taking a urinalysis. The company claimed that they were protected under the state’s Drug Testing of Employees Act, but the judge ruled that the company couldn’t prove if the employee was impaired at work. It’s advisable that employers do not terminate Arizona employees who hold a valid medical marijuana card based solely off of a positive marijuana drug test result. Companies’ should ensure that they provide employee education and reasonable suspicion training for managers, implement a medical disclosure policy, and establish a documentation process. If a terminated employee later sues for wrongful termination, this documentation and an established process, could be a deciding factor in your case.