16 Tex. Admin. Code § 85.725 - Responsibilities of Licensee - Drug Testing Policy

(a) A VSF adopting paragraphs (1) - (12) will comply with Texas Occupations Code, § RSA 2303.160.
(1) Purpose and Scope. This drug testing policy provides guidance to supervisors and VSF employees about their responsibilities under this policy. Except as stated in paragraph (12), this policy applies to all VSF employees and all VSF job applicants.
(2) Definitions. The words and terms used in this policy shall have their ordinary meaning unless the words or terms are used in Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 2303 or Title 49 Code of Federal Regulation Part 40, in which event the words or terms shall have the meaning designated in those regulations.
(3) Consent Form.
(A) Before a drug test is administered, VSF employees and applicants are required to sign a consent form authorizing the test and permitting release of test results to the medical review officer (MRO), the company, and the department. The consent form shall provide space for employees and applicants to acknowledge that they have been notified of the drug testing policy.
(B) The consent form shall set forth the following information:
(i) the procedure for confirming and verifying an initial positive test result;
(ii) the consequences of a verified positive test result; and
(iii) the consequences of refusing to undergo a drug test.
(C) The consent form also provides authorization for certified or licensed attending medical personnel to take and have analyzed appropriate specimens to determine if the tested drugs were present in the towing operator's and applicant's system.
(4) Compliance with Drug Testing Policy. The failure or refusal by a VSF employee or applicant to cooperate fully by signing necessary consent forms or other required documents or the failure or refusal to submit to any test or any procedure under this policy in a timely manner will be grounds for refusal to hire or for termination. The submission by an applicant or employee of a urine sample that is not his/her own or is a diluted specimen shall be grounds for refusal to hire or for termination.
(5) General Rules. This drug testing policy is governed by these general rules:
(A) VSF employees shall not take or be under the influence of any drugs unless prescribed by the employee's licensed physician.
(B) VSF employees are prohibited from engaging in the manufacture, sale, distribution, use, or unauthorized possession of illegal drugs at any time.
(C) All VSF property is subject to inspection at any time without notice. There should be no expectation of privacy in or on such property. VSF property includes, but is not limited to, vehicles, desks, containers, files, and lockers.
(D) Any VSF employee convicted of violating a criminal drug statute shall inform his/her supervisor of such conviction (including pleas of guilty and nolo contendere) within five days of the conviction occurring. Failure to inform the supervisor subjects the employee to disciplinary action up to and including termination for the first offense. The VSF will notify the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation of the conviction (including pleas of guilty and nolo contendere).
(6) Types of Tests.
(A) Pre-employment. All applicants for positions requiring a VSF employee license, who have received a conditional offer of employment, must take a drug test before receiving a final offer of employment.
(B) Annual. All VSF employees employed by a VSF must complete at least one scheduled drug test each 12-month period from the date of the initial license or renewal.
(C) Random Testing. In addition to annual testing, VSF employees are subject to random urine drug testing. Under this policy, annual random test for drugs of at least 25 percent of the total number of VSF employees is required.
(i) A minimum of 15 minutes and a maximum of two hours will be allowed between notification of a VSF employee for random urine drug testing and the actual presentation for specimen collection.
(ii) Random donor selection dates will be unannounced with unpredictable frequency.
(iii) Each licensed VSF participating in a consortium must ensure that the consortium performs random drug testing on at least 25% of the total number of the licensed VSF employees participating in and tested by the consortium.
(D) Return-to-Duty and Follow-Up.
(i) Any VSF employee who has violated this drug testing policy and is allowed to return to work must submit to a return-to-duty test. Follow-up tests will be unannounced, and at least six tests will be conducted in the first 12 months after a VSF employee returns to duty. Follow-up testing may be extended for up to 60 months following return to duty. The test results of all return to duty and follow-up must be negative.
(ii) The VSF employee will be required to pay for his or her return-to-duty and follow-up tests accordingly.
(7) Drug Testing. The drugs for which tests are required under this policy are marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, phencyclidine (PCP), and opiates.
(8) Specimen Collection Procedures.
(A) All urine specimens will be collected by a laboratory that is certified and monitored by the federal Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
(B) Drug testing procedures include split specimen procedures. Each urine specimen is subdivided into two bottles labeled as a "primary" and a "split" specimen. Only the primary specimen is opened and used for the urinalysis. The split specimen bottle remains sealed and is stored at the laboratory.
(C) If the analysis of the primary specimen confirms the presence of drugs, the VSF employee has 72 hours to request sending the split specimen to another federal DHHS certified laboratory for analysis. The VSF employee will be required to pay for his or her split specimen test(s).
(D) For the VSF employee's protection, the results of the analysis will be confidential except for the testing laboratory. After the MRO has evaluated a positive test result, the VSF employee will be notified, and the MRO will notify the company.
(E) The VSF will notify the department of the positive test result. Notification to the department must occur within 3 days of receipt of the confirmed test results from the MRO. The notification must include the:
(i) VSF employee's name;
(ii) VSF employee license number;
(iii) date of the positive test;
(iv) substance detected by the drug test; and
(v) disciplinary action imposed for violation of the drug testing policy.
(9) Reporting and Reviewing of Drug Testing Results.
(A) The company shall designate a medical review officer (MRO) to receive, report, and store testing information transmitted by the laboratory. This person shall be a licensed physician with knowledge of substance abuse disorders.
(B) The laboratory shall report test results only to the designated MRO, who will review them in accordance with accepted guidelines and the procedures adopted by the federal Department of Transportation.
(C) Reports from the laboratory to the MRO shall be in writing or by fax. The MRO may talk with the VSF employee by telephone upon exchange of acceptable identification.
(D) Neither the company, the laboratory, nor the MRO shall disclose any drug test results to any other person except under written authorization from the VSF employee, unless such results are necessary in the process of resolution of accident (incident) investigations, requested by court order, or required to be released to parties having a legal right-to-know as determined by state and federal law.
(10) Distribution of Information to VSF Employee. The minimal distribution of information for all VSF employees will include the display and distribution of:
(A) informational material on the physical and mental effects of drugs;
(B) an existing community services hotline number, available drug counseling, rehabilitation, and assistance program;
(C) the company's policy regarding the use of prohibited drugs and/or alcohol; and
(D) the consequences or disciplinary action that may be imposed upon VSF employees for violating the drug policy.
(11) Consequences of a Confirmed Positive Drug Test.
(A) Job applicants will be denied employment if their initial positive pre-employment drug test results have been confirmed.
(B) If a VSF employee's positive drug test result has been confirmed, the VSF employee will stand down from VSF duties and may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
(C) The company may consider the following factors in determining the appropriate disciplinary response: the VSF employee's work history, length of employment, current work assignment, current job performance, and existence of past disciplinary actions.
(D) No disciplinary action may be taken pursuant to this drug policy against VSF employees who voluntarily identify themselves as drug users, obtain counseling, rehabilitation and comply with return to duty and follow-up drug testing.
(12) Exceptions.
(A) VSF employees subject to random drug testing under Title 49 Code of Federal Regulation, Part 40 who have been randomly tested in the 12-month reporting period are exempt from the annual test requirement, provided that the VSF employee tested negative and the negative test results are submitted to and verified by the MRO.
(B) VSF employees holding a valid towing operator license issued by the department who are tested for drugs in accordance with 16 Texas Administrative Code Chapter 86 are exempt from this section.
(b) Independent drug testing policy.
(1) A VSF may file an independent drug testing policy.
(2) The filing must describe how the independent drug testing policy is as stringent as each provision of the model policy set forth in subsection (a).
(c) Compliance. A VSF must adopt and implement a drug testing policy compliant with subsection (a) or (b).


16 Tex. Admin. Code § 85.725
The provisions of this §85.725 adopted to be effective April 15, 2008, 33 TexReg 2931; amended to be effective May 3, 2010, 35 TexReg 3482; amended to be effective January 16, 2012, 37 TexReg 112; amended to be effective August 15, 2013, 38 TexReg 5060

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