Policy Types

Generally speaking, there are two kinds of drug testing policies in Maine: applicant and employee. Applicant policies are used to screen job candidates who have been offered a position contingent upon passing a drug test. Employee policies apply for testing of people who are already active employees.

Model Policy Instructions (PDF)

The applicant substance use testing policy is used to screen job applicants before they are hired and is also known as a pre-employment testing policy. This policy is not used for internal promotions

Employee testing policies are more complex than applicant testing policies. In addition to deciding which substances to test for and whether or not to use point of collection testing (POCT), employers must also decide whether to use probable cause, random or arbitrary testing, or a combination thereof. A brief overview of the differences:

  • Probable cause testing (also known as reasonable suspicion) is based on a determination by a qualified observer that the employee may be abusing a substance.
  • Random testing is based on randomly selecting individuals from a pool.
  • Arbitrary testing is based on an event. This may be an employment anniversary, a contract obligation, or other non-cause related occurrence.

In addition to choosing a testing type, an employer implementing an employee testing policy must:

  • Consult with employees in the development of any section of the testing policy.
  • Give individual written notice to employees that it has submitted a testing policy to the Department of Labor for review.
  • Include instructions on both where and how an employee may review the proposed policy.
  • Inform employees of how and when they may comment to the Department of Labor and display the contact information prominently.
  • Employees must be given a minimum of 10 days to comment directly to the Department of Labor.
  • Upon approval, employees must be provided with a copy of the policy at least 30 days before the policy takes effect.
  • In addition, if the employer has more than 20 full-time employees, it must have an Employee Assistance Program approved by the Department of Health and Human Services.

A Note on Point of Collection Testing (POCT):
Point of collection testing is often referred to as rapid testing. This is where a preliminary screening test is conducted at the site of collection. In such instances, samples returning a negative result are immediately destroyed in view of the employee, while non-negatives are sent off to a certified laboratory for further testing.”

For employers that choose to test both applicants and current employees, there is a template that incorporates both testing types into one document for more efficient policy management.