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Monday, 23 December 2019

Workplace Drug Testing Policy

I am the Human Resources Manager at a private company with 1000+ employees… with the new law on marijuana in Trinidad & Tobago, can we still enforce our random Drug Testing Policy?

Yes! Whilst the new law on marijuana decriminalizes possession of certain amounts in Trinidad & Tobago, it does not affect the way in which an employer can enforce (or even implement) its drug policy. Notwithstanding the new law in effect, employers are free to drug-test their prospective or current employees as long as there are valid drug-test policies in effect with fair and proper enforcement procedure(s).

Although it is not a criminal offence to be in possession of no more than 30 grammes of cannabis, an employer can insist that its workplace remains a drug-free zone, both in terms of possession and usage, the latter of which can only be determined by drug-test results.

It is extremely important for employees to understand that a positive drug test result can lead to disciplinary action even if the use of the drug(s) was on their personal time.

There are two types of tests used to detect the presence of a drug in the body:

·        Qualitative – this type of test can be done using either urine or blood samples to determine the milligrams per millimetre of drugs present in the body.
--For marijuana tests, this measures Tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC” is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis), which should not exceed 10 mg/ML to be considered a ‘negative’ reading.
--Qualitative drug test results can take up to 1 week.

·        Quantitative – this test is done using a urine sample and gives a basic negative or positive result.
Same-day results are generally available.

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