Drug Screening: Employees and Postdoctoral Research Fellows
Policy Number: 217
External applicants for employment and external applicants for postdoctoral research fellowships. Medical School residents should refer to the current Graduate Medical Education Resident Handbook. Students are covered under school policies.
- Date Reviewed:
- March 2016
- Responsible Office:
- Human Resources; Office of the Executive Vice President & Chief Academic Officer
- Responsible Executive:
- Vice-President and Chief Human Resources Officer; Executive Vice President & Chief Academic Officer
I. POLICY AND GENERAL STATEMENT
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston ("University") is committed to maintaining a safe and productive environment free from substance abuse. Accordingly, the University requires all external applicants who accept an offer of employment or a post-doctoral research fellowship to submit to a drug screening.
All offers of employment to external applicants and post-doctoral research fellowships to external applicants are expressly contingent on successful completion and satisfactory results of a drug screening in accordance with this policy.
The University will designate an appropriate third-party laboratory to conduct the drug screening. Results from a laboratory other than the one designated by the University will not be accepted.
Failure or refusal to submit to the required drug test, or receiving positive results that are not cleared by the designated Medical Review Officer (“MRO”), will result in termination of the hiring process and revocation of any offer of employment or appointment. If an applicant is licensed through a professional licensing board, the University will notify the licensing entity of any positive drug screen as required by applicable law, regulation or board requirements.
The University may also screen current employees and post-doctoral research fellows when there is reasonable suspicion that they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs or are otherwise unfit for duty (see HOOP 218, Fitness for Duty/Fitness for Participation (Employees) and HOOP 173, Substance Abuse).
Medical Review Officer (MRO): a licensed physician responsible for receiving laboratory results, who has knowledge of substance abuse disorders and has appropriate medical training to interpret and evaluate an individual’s drug screen, the individual’s medical history and other relevant biomedical information.
Drug screening/drug testing: testing for the presence of controlled substances. The drugs for which tests will be performed are marijuana metabolites, cocaine metabolites, phencyclidine (PCP), opiates, methadone, methaqualone, amphetamines, barbiturates, propoxyphene, and benzodiazepines.
Positive drug screen: test results that are above the federal government’s cut-off levels for controlled substances, including marijuana metabolites, cocaine metabolites, phencyclidine (PCP), opiates, methadone, methaqualone, amphetamines, barbiturates, propoxyphene, and benzodiazepines.
External applicants who accept an offer of employment or a postdoctoral research fellowship must complete the required drug screening at a University-approved laboratory. After acceptance of an offer, Human Resources or designee will send the applicant written instructions for completing the drug screening. The applicant must complete the drug screening no later than the time specified after notification. Applicants who do not reside in the United States and/or do not have access to an approved laboratory must inform Human Resources immediately upon accepting an offer and receive alternate instructions. Failure to complete the drug screening within the time specified may result in termination of the hiring process and revocation of the offer of employment/appointment.
If a positive drug screen result is reported, the sample will automatically be sent by the laboratory for confirmatory testing. If the results remain positive, they will be sent to a third-party MRO for review. The MRO will determine whether the individual has a valid prescription or any other medical explanation for a positive test result. If so, the results will be deemed negative.
All final drug screening results will be sent directly from the third-party laboratory to UT Health Services. UT Health Services will maintain all drug screening results in accordance with applicable law and records retention requirements. All information from a drug screen will be confidential to the extent required by law. UT Health Services will inform Human Resources whether the applicant has cleared the screening process.
A final positive drug screen will result in termination of the hiring process and revocation of an offer of employment or appointment. .
- Human Resources
- Office of the Executive Vice President & Chief Academic Officer
- The University of Texas Health Services