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Author Topic: Pre-Employment Blood and Alcohol Screening  (Read 710 times)

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Offline OneTampa

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  • "Butterflies are free."
Pre-Employment Blood and Alcohol Screening
« on: August 10, 2014, 10:33:04 PM »
I recently completed a series of interviews for a new position in Florida.  The job appears right up my alley and would represent a wonderful career leap.

I received a series of forms that must be completed over the next week or so including consent for a blood and urine test to screen for drugs and alcohol. I have never in the past or currently do recreational drugs, smoke or drink alcohol.

I am aware, however, that my HIV meds, particularly Sustiva, may render a false positive reading.

I called my Doctor and he agreed to write a note stating that I am on medication (without noting the specific medication) that may give a false positive reading. 

I want to protect my medical privacy while at the same time moving forward with the screening.  I have not signed and submitted the screening release form yet.

My questions:

1) May I ask the employer to identify the Lab? It was not on the release form. That way I can research the Lab, if that would be helpful.

2) If I give the Lab Tech the note from my doctor before they take my blood and urine samples, will that signal that they should do a more refined screening?

The screening release form reads in part as follows:

"...By signing this form, I hereby release to this Employer the results of the test(s) to which I have consented. I further authorize this Employer to discuss the results with medical personnel/physician collecting the specimen, the testing facility, its directors, officers, agents, and employers responsible for administering the aforementioned test(s) or evaluating the results thereof and any of them herein and to use the test results as a defense to any legal action to which am a party.

I further release any testing facility or any physicians who have tested me from any liability arising from a release and all results, written reports, medical records, and data concerning my test(s) to appropriate Employer officials..."


The form states that if you refuse the test, refuse release of the test results to the employer or the test results come back positive, that these would be grounds for disciplinary action or discharge.

Bottom line, it appears that there is a straight path directly from the Lab to the Employer even though the release notes what can happen if I refuse the release of the test results to the Employer. This implies a mid-point from the Lab to the prospective employee (Me).  I want to protect the confidentiality of my medical information and be proactive in all of this as well. 

Sorry for the length of this post. I just wanted to provide enough information about my situation to help with suggestions.

I truly appreciate any feedback from Board Members.

BTW: This is a link from several years ago here on a similar discussion:

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=41696.msg519035#msg519035

Again, thank you, thank you all in advance.

 :)  :)
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline OneTampa

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Re: Pre-Employment Blood and Urine Screening
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2014, 11:09:33 PM »
Meant thread title to read:  Blood and Urine Screening. 

"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Pre-Employment Blood and Alcohol Screening
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2014, 08:01:47 AM »
Its my understanding that false positives due to medications are not uncommon so you should expect the testing center to have a system in place to deal with this . I cant speak to the larger part of your question but you can rest a little easier knowing that this is not going to be a big deal to the lab . I had a false positive while on Atripla and once they understood it my report read cannot be versed due to medication contradiction . Sorry I cant help with the major concern of privacy . 

Offline OneTampa

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  • "Butterflies are free."
Re: Pre-Employment Blood and Alcohol Screening
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2014, 11:09:56 AM »
Jeff, thanks for your input.

Just wanted to confirm if there would be a need to reveal my medications in the process.
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline Since1993

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Re: Pre-Employment Blood and Alcohol Screening
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2014, 05:23:58 PM »
I recently completed a series of interviews for a new position in Florida.  The job appears right up my alley and would represent a wonderful career leap.

I received a series of forms that must be completed over the next week or so including consent for a blood and urine test to screen for drugs and alcohol. I have never in the past or currently do recreational drugs, smoke or drink alcohol.

I am aware, however, that my HIV meds, particularly Sustiva, may render a false positive reading.

I called my Doctor and he agreed to write a note stating that I am on medication (without noting the specific medication) that may give a false positive reading. 

I want to protect my medical privacy while at the same time moving forward with the screening.  I have not signed and submitted the screening release form yet.

My questions:

1) May I ask the employer to identify the Lab? It was not on the release form. That way I can research the Lab, if that would be helpful.

2) If I give the Lab Tech the note from my doctor before they take my blood and urine samples, will that signal that they should do a more refined screening?

The screening release form reads in part as follows:

"...By signing this form, I hereby release to this Employer the results of the test(s) to which I have consented. I further authorize this Employer to discuss the results with medical personnel/physician collecting the specimen, the testing facility, its directors, officers, agents, and employers responsible for administering the aforementioned test(s) or evaluating the results thereof and any of them herein and to use the test results as a defense to any legal action to which am a party.

I further release any testing facility or any physicians who have tested me from any liability arising from a release and all results, written reports, medical records, and data concerning my test(s) to appropriate Employer officials..."


The form states that if you refuse the test, refuse release of the test results to the employer or the test results come back positive, that these would be grounds for disciplinary action or discharge.

Bottom line, it appears that there is a straight path directly from the Lab to the Employer even though the release notes what can happen if I refuse the release of the test results to the Employer. This implies a mid-point from the Lab to the prospective employee (Me).  I want to protect the confidentiality of my medical information and be proactive in all of this as well. 

Sorry for the length of this post. I just wanted to provide enough information about my situation to help with suggestions.

I truly appreciate any feedback from Board Members.

BTW: This is a link from several years ago here on a similar discussion:

http://forums.poz.com/index.php?topic=41696.msg519035#msg519035

Again, thank you, thank you all in advance.

 :)  :)

I don't think researching the lab online will yield any answers, alternatively, create more questions on your part in my opinion.  Most drug screening laboratories heavily screen the information they provide the general public because of the "cheats" who try to circumvent their testing procedures. 

Because of the legal consequences of any positive drug screen, the College of American Pathologists (CAP) set forth guidelines to guide laboratories in developing protocols of how to handle these situations. 

Giving the laboratory technician who is administering the drug screen as much information as possible will help the laboratory better know how to handle the screening and type of testing to perform.  You can certainly give the technician the letter your physician provided.  What effect that has on the initial testing is up to the reference laboratory doing the testing.  As long as you are not doing illicit drugs, any secondary testing done shouldn't adversely affect the outcome and you shouldn't worry about it.  In your case, secondary testing could help your situation.

It's all or none as it relates to drug testing.  If you don't do the drug test, your employer will likely decline their offer of employment. 

Any initial positive result of a drug screen performed by a lab is immediately flagged and sent to the Laboratories Medical Director, who is charged to further investigate.  Before more expensive, magnified testing can occur and results sent to your employer, the Medical Director has to contact the patient directly, inform them of the positive drug screen and ask questions regarding medications the patient takes before proceeding and what effect it would have on any report sent to your employer. 

Once the Laboratory Medical Director is made aware of your medications, he/she might continue the process by ordering further testing which could help determine the screening negative.  Whatever results he/she reports to your employer is dictated by the laboratories protocol and the release of medical information you sign/HIPPA. 

Understand this process is meant to provide quality results of drug screens in CAP accredited laboratories, more than protecting your privacy from your employer.  That's not to say you reporting Sustiva would be reported along with a negative drug screen upon secondary testing.  It depends on the protocol of the laboratory.

All results are directly reported to the individual who requested the testing at the place of your prospective employer, often an Human Resources Representative.  Most Human Resources Rep's wouldn't know the difference between Sustiva and Tylenol.  All they are really interested in is a positive or negative drug screen result to continue the employment process. 

As it relates to disclosure, if this is a job that will benefit your livelihood and improve your quality of life, disclosing any HIV medications you take to a reference laboratory that might or might not be revealed to your employer is certainly worth considering.   




Offline OneTampa

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  • "Butterflies are free."
Re: Pre-Employment Blood and Alcohol Screening
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2014, 10:26:26 AM »
Thank you Since, you make a lot of Sense with your response.  :)

I am excited about the job and compensation.  I also got very good vibes from the people I met. But to paraphrase an old aside, "the devil can play peek-a-boo and try to hide in the details." 

I just want to make an informed decision.

Oy! To be a long life decision making grown up.

Thanks again.

  :)
« Last Edit: August 12, 2014, 10:47:26 AM by OneTampa »
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Online Dan0

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Re: Pre-Employment Blood and Alcohol Screening
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2014, 11:28:53 AM »
Here is what I can offer from the 'other end', as someone who is involved in the hiring process, FMLA, random testing, etc., from a supervisory/management level.  I do not work in HR, Human Capital or whatever nonsense term they have for it now.  I am not involved in testing aspect other than to schedule pre-employment screenings, return to work screenings, or suspicion of use screenings.  All the Federally mandated laws, I must work to ensure that they are applied correctly, such as FMLA, ADA, etc. 

I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW, NEED TO KNOW OR DESIRE TO KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR CONDITION AND PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT TELL ME!!!!

In most cases, unless they are nosey and stupid, any manager would run screaming if someone tried to divulge their status to them.  The laws are very specific and with the confidentiality applications, I could be held personally liable for any breech of someone's medical information.  That, in fact, is how many companies are positioning themselves.  "We trained you, we gave you all the "do's and don'ts" and now if you get in trouble, you're on your own!"

The only indication that I have ever received on a drug test was "pass" or "fail".  I never receive any of the nuances of the testing nor do I ask. To my knowledge, any information that I passed onto the technician at a testing facility was never compromised or disseminated. Anything related to FMLA is sent to me with the parameters of the leave allotment and nothing related to 'why' - ever! 

Best of luck in the new job endeavor - I don't think that you have much to worry about! 
« Last Edit: August 12, 2014, 11:35:00 AM by Dan0 »
You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.

"Honey, you should never ask advice from a drunk drag queen who has a show to do." - JG

06/2002 DX
10/2006 Atripla UD
10/2013 Stribild Still UD

Offline OneTampa

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  • "Butterflies are free."
Re: Pre-Employment Blood and Alcohol Screening
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2014, 08:26:31 AM »
Thank you Dan0!
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Online Dan0

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Re: Pre-Employment Blood and Alcohol Screening
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2014, 08:56:48 AM »
In fact, and not that this applies to you but it does highlight the confidentiality, when I receive notice that someone is entitled to FMLA, the only thing I receive is a form letter that states FMLA has been granted for XX months and the terms of the leave....sporadic or long-term. It may say that it will be used approximately X times per month for an entire day or it may be partial days X times per month. That's it.

If I have any question on abuse of the policy, I have to work through our HR office with an accredited nurse or our legal department. Granted, my company is very large and we have these types of offices in place and smaller companies may not - but the overriding factor is that medical information is confidential.

I did ask my HR person about the new guidelines with medical marijuana and testing. She said that it is all rolled up to the nurse and we would never know unless there is some overriding safety issue like driving machinery.....and then there is an entirely NEW set of criteria since it is 'medical' marijuana. We've been having some very interesting chats since your thread and while I never concerned myself with the back office and lab stuff, it is very interesting the degree of protection I've been discovering and just how good it is.

 After 28 years I have never received any medically specific information on any employee (and I have had hundreds) even before ADA and now it is even more strict. What is really telling, I haven't even heard 'gossip' and we all know how the bored cubicle workers love their gossip! I've been + for 13 years plus, two medical leave of absences, regular drug tests and my information has never been divulged.

I am blissfully ignorant about anyone aside from whether or not they can do that job.

Now, get that job!
You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.

"Honey, you should never ask advice from a drunk drag queen who has a show to do." - JG

06/2002 DX
10/2006 Atripla UD
10/2013 Stribild Still UD

Offline Niceguy2013

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Re: Pre-Employment Blood and Alcohol Screening
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2014, 07:32:29 PM »
I was worried about the same thing when I got a new job. I was assured that in the event of a positive test that they would contact me for a list of medications. Your employer will not have access to this information. The good news is that they never contracted me and I got the job. Don't stress too much about it.

Offline OneTampa

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  • "Butterflies are free."
Re: Pre-Employment Blood and Alcohol Screening
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2014, 08:44:38 AM »
Thanks again Dan0 and Niceguy.

 :)
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline OneTampa

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  • "Butterflies are free."
Re: Pre-Employment Blood and Alcohol Screening
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2014, 12:17:20 PM »
I got the job!!!!!!

 :) :D ;D

Thanks everyone for your very helpful suggestions!

Best!
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Pre-Employment Blood and Alcohol Screening
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2014, 12:20:18 PM »
Yay ... you gonna buy us nice gifts ... seems the least you could do seeing how supportive we have been ... If not then a hardy Congratulations to you anyway !

Offline OneTampa

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  • "Butterflies are free."
Re: Pre-Employment Blood and Alcohol Screening
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2014, 12:26:50 PM »
Yay ... you gonna buy us nice gifts ... seems the least you could do seeing how supportive we have been ... If not then a hardy Congratulations to you anyway !

LOL! How about I send everyone "rich thoughts" and "marvelous mentions" when I put on my Haitian Headdress and stir the potion pot adding a pinch of LLLs (long life lillies)?

 :) ;) :D
"He is my oldest child. The shy and retiring one over there with the Haitian headdress serving pescaíto frito."

Offline Almost2late

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Re: Pre-Employment Blood and Alcohol Screening
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2014, 12:35:38 PM »
Congradulations Tampa, hope you enjoy your new job :)... Glad I ran into this thread, some great info here.. a thank you to Dano for his input.
Atripla, Bactrim, Azithromycin
Date         CD4's          VL
02/14     13  2.79%    228k+
03/14     52       7%       3k-
04/14     not done          2k-
05/14     184     9%       595
06/14     117     8%       235  switched off Atripla
08/14     135    10%      110  stopped Azithromycin
Tivicay, Truvada, Bactrim

“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!”
― Dr. Seuss

“Everybody dies … The thing is, to have a life before we die.”
― John Irving, The World According to Garp

Offline britchick

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Re: Pre-Employment Blood and Alcohol Screening
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2014, 03:00:25 PM »
OneTampa,
Well done and enjoy your new job.

britchickxx

 


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