Tomblin order requires Workforce West Virginia to implement drug - Business, Government Legal News from throughout WV

Tomblin order requires Workforce West Virginia to implement drug testing policy

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Unemployed West Virginians seeking to enroll in job training programs offered through Workforce West Virginia will be required to pass a 10-panel drug test under Executive Order 8-12.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed the order April 24 after meeting with Wheeling-area business leaders to discuss local challenges, including those related to substance abuse.

"I continuously hear from business leaders located all across the state that they have jobs available, but the candidates cannot pass a pre-employment drug screening," Tomblin said in a statement. "When this happens, we have wasted taxpayer dollars, hurt our businesses and limit our economic growth."

Workforce West Virginia has the authority to develop and implement a drug testing policy under the Workforce Investment Act. Under Tomblin's order, the policy will require mandatory urine samples to test for controlled substances such as amphetamines, cannabinoids/THC, cocaine, opiates, phencyclidine, benzodiazepines, propoxyphene, methadone, barbiturates and synthetic narcotics. Participants must successfully pass the drug screening before they can enroll in any training funded by the Workforce Investment Act, individual training accounts or on-the-job training.

Participants who do not pass the drug test will be sanctioned from receiving any Workforce Investment Act or National Emergency Grant Training program-funded training services for 90 days from the date of the first positive drug screen, or one year from the second positive test.

Workforce West Virginia is responsible for contracting with a vendor to provide drug screening services. That vendor will review and certify results. Workforce West Virginia is also responsible for all costs of the drug screens and establishing an effective date of implementation. The agency will notify Tomblin when the date is established.

According to Russell Fry, the acting executive director of Workforce West Virginia, the policy is a needed one.

"A drug-free workforce is critical to our state's economic success," he said. "By screening applicants before they enter training, we are investing our training dollars in improving the productivity and success of our workforce."

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