Do Breathalyzer Tests on Employees Count as Drug Tests in Florida?
"*" indicates required fields
If you suspect that an employee was under the influence when they sustained injuries at work, you may be able to subject them to drug testing. But what types of drug tests can you use to do this in Florida? What about breathalyzer tests?
While you can drug test employees if you have decided to enforce a drug-free workplace in Florida, you can’t use a breathalyzer test to do so. Instead, you will have to use chemical, biological, or physical instrumental analysis tests that use bodily specimens to assess an employee’s drug or alcohol levels. When you use the appropriate methods to test for drug or alcohol use in employees, you can more easily identify workers not abiding by the requirements of your drug-free workplace and deny illegitimate Workers’ Compensation insurance claims, keeping your premiums low.
Our brokers are here to help employers in Florida make the Workers’ Compensation system work for them. To learn more about the Florida Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers at NPN Brokers, call today at (866) 340-9120.
Can You Use a Breathalyzer to Drug Test Employees in Florida?
While you can test employees for alcohol use if you have decided to enforce a drug-free workplace program at your company, there are limits on how to do so. Breathalyzer tests are not considered valid ways to test employees for drug or alcohol use in Florida.
According to Fla. Stat. § 112.0455(5)(a), drugs prohibited in drug-free workplaces include alcohol, such as wine, distilled spirits, malt beverages, liquors, and drugs like cocaine and opiates, among others. Once you have established the parameters of your drug-free workplace program and have informed employees, you can test employees for drug or alcohol use when you have reasonable suspicion to believe they are under the influence or in other specific circumstances. You can’t use breathalyzers to test as they only detect alcohol, not other drugs that might be in an employee’s system.
In order to ensure that drug tests are accurate, Florida requires the use of specific types of chemical, biological, or physical instrumental analysis tests, not including breathalyzers. When you start your drug-free workplace program according to Florida’s criteria, you can learn about the specific tests permitted to assess a worker’s drug or alcohol levels while at work.
While you can’t use a breathalyzer test to test an employee for drug or alcohol use, you can use other state-approved methods. The procedure to test an employee for alcohol use in Florida is very strict. Employers must ensure they use a state-approved laboratory for testing, test employees twice to confirm results, adhere to the chain of command rules, and maintain an employee’s confidentiality, whatever the test results are.
What Counts as a Valid Drug Test for Your Florida Employees?
When testing an employee for alcohol or drugs in Florida, employers can use only certain tests. These tests are typically more comprehensive than breathalyzer tests, capable of detecting drugs and their metabolites in an employee’s system.
Employee drug testing as part of Florida’s drug-free workplace program is very specific. Employers must use qualified medical professionals or laboratory personnel and testing labs approved by the state. In a private location, a medical professional can take specimens from an employee suspected of drug use, such as tissue, hair, or another bodily product capable of revealing drug levels, and then test it. Other specimens collected for a drug test of an employee in Florida might include urine, blood, saliva, or sweat samples.
Then, an approved laboratory can use chemical, biological, or physical instrumental analysis tests to assess drugs in an employee’s system. A follow-up test is also required to confirm the results of a positive or negative drug test in Florida.
Florida is strict about the types of tests employers can use when drug testing employees and the required procedure to maintain employee confidentiality and rights. When you follow the testing rules, you can get a 5% premium discount on Workers’ Compensation insurance, which can lower the already affordable coverage that you source from our Florida Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers.
What if an Employee Tests Positive for Drugs or Alcohol in Florida?
If an employee tests positive for drugs in Florida, and you have used an approved testing method to confirm such, you have options. You can choose to relieve an employee, and your Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier can deny a claim if an employee was injured at work while they had drugs or alcohol in their system.
Employers in Florida often enforce a drug-free workplace to more easily test workers for drugs or alcohol after a workplace injury. When workers are injured on the job, they may choose to file a Workers’ Compensation insurance claim in Florida. If an employee tests positive for drugs or alcohol and you have established a drug-free workplace, it will be presumed that the drugs or alcohol in their system caused the recent accident. This can lead to a legitimate denial of benefits, keeping your Workers’ Compensation insurance premiums low.
Knowing that you have a drug-free workplace can prevent employees from engaging in drug or alcohol use while at work. This can lower the number of work-related injuries, putting your company at a lower risk to insure. Our Florida Business Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers can explain the other benefits of having a drug-free workplace, such as an automatic 5% discount on premiums.
When employees test positive for drugs or alcohol after being administered state-approved drug tests, employers can more easily address issues and deny illegitimate Workers’ Compensation claims. To learn more about how drug testing employees can lower your insurance costs, speak with our Florida Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers.
Contact Our Florida Brokers to Get Workers’ Comp Insurance Today
If you need help getting Workers’ Compensation insurance for your business in Florida, reach out to our brokers. To learn more about the Florida Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers at NPN Brokers, call today at (866) 340-9120.