Drug Testing in Lincoln, Nebraska: What Businesses Need to Know

Drug testing in Lincoln is a vital tool for safeguarding your business, your employees, and your community. As you navigate the bustling business landscape of Lincoln, you need to understand what drug testing entails and why it matters.

These tests are becoming more relevant in an era where the state’s companies are achieving great results on the national business landscape. The state offers a conducive entrepreneurial environment for new ventures to not only take root but flourish in this vibrant city.

According to The Lincoln Journal Star, Nebraska companies are among the fastest-growing nationwide, with 41 earning spots on the prestigious 2023 Inc. 5000 list. What’s even more promising? Nine of these thriving enterprises are from Lincoln, underscoring the city’s optimistic landscape for businesses like yours.

This post aims to help you navigate drug testing in Lincoln, Nebraska effectively.

Understand Drug Testing Regulations

To efficiently understand drug testing regulations in Lincoln, Nebraska, businesses must understand the specific requirements imposed by the city. For this purpose, the city has established certain conditions as outlined below:

  • Pre-Employment/Pre-Duty Testing: The city mandates drug testing for Police Officer and Firefighter applicants as a pre-qualification requirement. Positive test results or refusal to submit disqualifies applicants from further consideration. Current employees transferring to these roles must also undergo testing.
  • Reasonable Suspicion Testing: The city mandates drug testing for current employees based on observable signs of drug use by trained supervisors. Testing triggered by specific, contemporary observations of appearance, behavior, speech, or body odors. Supervisors must undergo training to detect signs of prohibited drug use.
  • Return to Duty Testing: Employees with positive drug test results must undergo a return-to-duty test after evaluation by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP). Verified negative test results are required for job reinstatement; canceled tests necessitate retesting. A positive test may lead to termination from the city
  • Follow-up Testing: After returning to duty, employees face unannounced follow-up drug testing for 12-60 months. SAP recommends testing frequency, with at least six tests in the first 12 months. Positive results may lead to termination from the city.

Implement Effective Drug Testing Policies

To implement effective drug testing in Lincoln, Nebraska, businesses must first establish clear guidelines and procedures. Define which positions are subject to testing and specify the circumstances under which drug testing in Lincoln, Nebraska will occur. Ensure all employees are aware of the drug testing policy and their rights and responsibilities under it. 

According to Health Street, employers in Lincoln, overseeing employees susceptible to bloodborne pathogen exposure, such as those in healthcare, must adhere to precise guidelines. These regulations are set forth by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

As per workplace health mandates in Lincoln, employers must provide hepatitis B support post-exposure incidents and conduct antibody testing afterward. These antibody tests aim to gauge individual immunity levels against hepatitis B.

Navigate Legal Frameworks

Understanding the legal frameworks surrounding drug testing in Lincoln, Nebraska is essential for businesses. This includes understanding which positions necessitate drug testing and the protocols for conducting tests.

According to the city’s regulations, drug testing will be conducted using split urine samples or blood collections. Samples will be tested for marijuana, cocaine, opiates, amphetamines, and PCP. Each test has a different threshold. 

For example, the initial threshold for marijuana is 50 ng/ml, meaning any concentration equal to or above this level triggers further testing. The confirmation threshold, 15 ng/ml, ensures accuracy, with any presence above confirming drug use. The split sample retest serves as a backup for confirmation.

Attract More Potential Employees

Attracting more potential employees in Lincoln, Nebraska involves showcasing a commitment to workplace safety. Transparent communication about drug testing protocols during the hiring process can attract candidates who value safety and accountability. 

Many states, including Nebraska, are considering relaxing drug-use standards laws in order to attract the right candidates for some positions. Recently, the state has witnessed a decline in the number of individuals in some departments.  

In Nebraska, the State Patrol operated with approximately 60 troopers fewer than its authorized strength of 482. Similarly, the Lincoln Police Department had around 30 officers below its full staffing level. In response, a law enforcement panel is currently deliberating on potential adjustments to drug-use criteria for new police recruits, following Gov. Jim Pillen’s recent dismissal of a proposal to ease them.

In conclusion, drug testing is a critical aspect of workplace safety and compliance for businesses in Lincoln, Nebraska. By staying informed, businesses can navigate the complexities of drug testing with confidence, ensuring the well-being of their employees.