Substance-Free Workforce Program
Napa and Solano Counties
IBEW Local 180 and Northern California Chapter, NECA


IBEW and NECA share common concerns with respect to the health and safety of employees on the job, and the integrity of work performed in the construction industry.  Drug and alcohol abuse in our industry can significantly increase the safety risk for both employees and the general public.  It can also impact costs and liability for contactors and erode public confidence. Therefore, IBEW and NECA have mandated through Category One language and have jointly developed this program to further advance safety and efficiency within the construction industry in Napa and Solano Counties.   
This brief program description is intended to familiarize you with how the program works.

OVERVIEW

What is the IBEW-NECA Substance-Free Workforce Program?

The Substance-Free Workforce Program is a drug testing and member assistance program that is implemented under the IBEW Local 180 Health & Welfare Plan.  It affects all IBEW members employed by Participating Employers of the Inside Construction Agreement within Napa and Solano Counties.

The Program Administrator for the drug testing program is Bensinger, Dupont and Associates, Inc.  The Members Assistance Program (MAP) is administered by Kaiser, and is an integral component to the Program’s effectiveness. The MAP’s role in the Substance-Free Workforce Program is to help employees get back on the job as soon as they are able.

Who will be Tested?

Members will be subject to testing only if they are employed by, or seek employment with, a Participating Employer – i.e., an employer who has executed a Designated Employer Representative (DER) Form.  Participating Employers are required to assign the responsibility for handling all employer-related functions of the Program to one designated individual — the DER.  In carrying out these duties, the DER must maintain all employee information received in a strictly confidential manner.

Members of IBEW Locals other than Local 180 who have directed contributions back to their home Health & Welfare funds under reciprocity (“Travelers”), will be deemed to be participants in the Local 180 Health & Welfare Fund solely for purposes of the drug and alcohol testing provisions of this Program, and will be eligible for the “Wellness Benefit” checks.

INFORMATION FOR MEMBERS

Testing Procedure

If you are working for a Participating Employer, you will be given information on testing sites and a Test Authorization Form to take to the site chosen by you to do the test. You must sign a form acknowledging receipt of the testing information and the Test Authorization Form.

At your chosen testing site, you must submit the Test Authorization Form. This Form qualifies “Active” participants in the Local 180 Substance Free Workforce Program (including Travelers) for the $50.00 “Wellness Benefit” check (initial test only) provided their tests are negative.  A urine specimen will be collected following procedures consistent with Federal testing standards.  Once obtained, the specimen will be screened for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, opiates, PCP, and other prohibited substances.  Alcohol testing will be conducted in accordance with Federal standards.

Every effort will be made to ensure a member’s privacy.  However, should a member be caught attempting to alter his or her sample, a second one will be collected immediately under direct supervision. 

If the initial screen is positive, testing and handling procedures will be reviewed a second time before confirming the positive result. In addition, before confirming a positive result, the Medical Review Officer (MRO), a physician, will review the test results and the member will be interviewed to determine whether the positive result was due to a valid medical or dietary reasons.

Members are entitled to copies of verified positive test results, which they may request by telephone or in writing from the MRO.

Testing Schedule

Initial Testing

All current employees of Participating Employers may test voluntarily between January 1, 2008 and March 31, 2008. Mandatory testing will commence on April 1, 2008. Employees of new Participating Employers (after April 1st) will have 30 days from the date the employer signs the DER form to complete their initial testing. Testing will be done outside of working hours.

Prehire Testing

Effective April 1, 2008, members dispatched by Local 180 to Participating Employers must be tested within two working days of dispatch, unless in possession of “Active” status earned within the past 12 months.

Random Testing

Effective April 1, 2008, employees of Participating Employers will be subject to random selection by the Program Administrator for drug testing.  Random selection may result in testing more than once during the year, or not at all.

If you are selected for random testing, your employer will notify you.  You will be free to choose the time of your test (outside of working hours) at any approved site, as long as it takes place within 24 hours from the time you are notified.

Post-Accident Testing

Drug and alcohol testing will be conducted after a work-related accident which is caused in part by an employee’s performance, and which involves either a reportable injury as defined by OSHA regulations, an injury which requires medical treatment that cannot be handled at the accident scene, or at least $1,000 in property damage.  The alcohol testing will be completed within two (2) hours of the accident, if possible, and the drug testing must be completed within 24 hours of the accident. 

Return to Work Testing

Those who are under MAP supervision for Inactive status will be re-tested when released by the MAP to do so.

Test Results and Workforce Status

“Active” Status

If your drug test result is negative, the Program Administrator will designate you as having “Active” status in Napa and Solano Counties IBEW-NECA Substance-Free Workforce Program.  In addition, participants will receive a “Wellness Benefit” check for $50 by mail if the result is negative. Checks will be mailed from the Health & Welfare Fund Manager once a month.

“Inactive” Status

Either of the following conditions will result in your being deemend “Inactive”; and therefore you will be unable to work for a Participating Employer in Napa and Solano Counties until your status changes to “Active”:

    1.    Opting Out

If you refuse to take the drug test or fail to appear for your test, you will be deemed “Inactive.” 

    2.    Positive Result

If the MRO confirms that your test result is positive, your status will be deemed “Inactive.” 

MAP and Getting Back to Work

Active participants in the Local 180 Health & Welfare Plan (other than Travelers) whose test results are confirmed positive will be asked to make an appointment with the MAP.  The MAP will work together with the participant to provide evaluation, counseling and/or referral to a treatment program.  The MAP’s principal objective is to work with participants who need and want assistance with alcohol and substance use/abuse issues that may impact their capacities to perform their jobs safely and effectively. 

Once the MAP determines that it is appropriate for the member to return to work, it will authorize a “Return to Work” test, which must be taken within 24 hours of the authorization. Upon re-testing and receipt of a negative result, the member will be designated with Active status and eligible to work. 

For more information regarding benefits provided by MAP, call the Health & Welfare Plan office at (925) 208-9999 or see the MAP summary description provided by Kaiser.

Claims

All initial claims relating to testing procedures, test results, Workforce Status, MAP benefits or other issues that may arise under this Program must be filed in writing, within 30 days of the date the claim arose, and mailed or faxed to the Program Administrator, at:

Bensinger, Dupont & Associates (BDA)
106 W. Hawthorne, Suite B
Fallbrook, California 92028
Tel: 800.577.3784 or 760.723.3056
Fax: 760.723.3057


If the Program Administrator is not able to resolve the claim, the Local 180 Health & Welfare Fund Manager will send the member a notice of claim denial, with information concerning the right to file an appeal, within 14 days after the claim was filed.  

INFORMATION FOR PARTICIPATING EMPLOYERS

Informing Employees of Random Testing

The confidential Designated Employer Representative (DER) will inform you when it is time for one of your employees to be randomly selected for testing.  The DER must tell your employee that he or she must appear for testing within 24 hours.  Employees who are out ill, on vacation, or temporarily off for other reasons, are to be notified upon their return provided their absence is not longer than three days from the receipt of your notification fax.

Once You’ve Notified The Employees

After the DER and employee have signed the Test Authorization Form, the DER will send a copy of the Form to the Program Administrator.  If the DER is unable to notify an employee in a timely manner, the DER must notify the Program Administrator by fax back concerning the reason for delay and the employee will be rescheduled. 

If the Employee’s Status Changes From Active to Inactive

If there is a change in status following the testing date, the Program Administrator will immediately notify your DER if the employee no longer has an Active designation in the Workforce database.  The reason for an employee’s change of status to Inactive may be due to any of the reasons described above, and the DER will not be provided with the specific reason for the change of status.

CONFIDENTIALITY

Federal law prohibits the disclosure of individually identifiable health information to another person.  42 U.S.C. § 1320d-6(a)(3).  All test results under this Program will be held strictly confidential by the MRO and Program Administrator.  The only information that may be disclosed to the employer’s DER is a member’s status in the Substance-Free Workforce as “Active” or “Inactive”.  All such information shall be held strictly confidential by the DER. 

PROHIBITED DISCRIMINATION BASED ON WORKFORCE STATUS

Members with “Inactive” status will not be permitted to work for Participating Employers in Napa and Solano Counties until their status is changed to “Active”. Employees may not be discharged based on their Workforce status.  In addition, employers may not discriminate against members in hiring for having previously been designated “Inactive” or having gone through the MAP program; nor may the employer discriminate against members in hiring for a job outside of the Napa and Solano Counties based on the member’s Workforce status with respect to this drug-testing program.