Appendix O

12/6/16

SENATE COMMITTEE ON RESEARCH

Drug Testing Program for Penn State’s Defense Related Research Units, Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) and Electro-Optics Center (EOC)

(Informational)

Introduction

This report is an overview of the updated drug testing program implemented at Penn State’s two Defense Related Research Units – the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL), a U.S. Navy University Affiliated Research Center (UARC), and the Electro-Optics Center (EOC), collectively referred to herein as the Laboratory.    The objectives of this program enhancement, which became effective July 1, 2016, are to maintain a Laboratory work force and work environment free from the effects of drug abuse, and to ensure the Laboratory’s compliance with related Federal and Penn State policies [i.e., DFARS 252.223-7004, Drug-Free Work Force (which applies to federal contracts that involve access to classified information) and Penn State Policy AD33, A Drug-Free Workplace].

Information

The program covers Penn State employees whose assigned Penn State administrative unit is ARL or EOC, including wage payroll employees and students, as well as other Penn State employees who hold government security clearances and who perform their primary duties on Laboratory premises, such as Assistant Police Services Officers assigned in support of the Laboratory. Technical Service employees are excluded from this program, pending collective bargaining.

The program prohibits illicit drug use or the presence of any illegal substance in the body while on work premises or performing covered work. It also prohibits illicit drug use or trafficking of controlled substances even if such activities are performed while off work. Employees are required to notify the Laboratory Human Resources and Security Services within seventy-two hours of any criminal arrest or conviction, per Penn State Policy HR 99, “Background Check Process,” which was instituted in July 2012.

The Laboratory’s program is administered through the Penn State Occupational Medicine Office.  The protocols are benchmarked on the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) collection procedures to ensure testing accuracy and confidentiality, and are available for review in the Occupational Medicine Office.  PSU CDL licensed drivers have been tested under this program for years without any false positive results.  The Occupational Medicine Office oversees similar programs applicable to Penn State employees at University Park Airport, in keeping with Federal Aviation Administration policies, and for employees at the Breazeale Nuclear Reactor, in compliance with Nuclear Regulatory Commission policies.

Drug testing sample collections are administered by the Penn State Occupational Medicine Office, local emergency room or off-site contracted collection sites. Collections are taken as a urine sample and sent to an independent laboratory. The results are reported back to the Penn State Occupational Medicine Office. Positive test results are reviewed by Occupational Medicine for any mitigating causes that would result in a compliant finding. Collection is confidential, and results are only shared on an as-needed basis.

Sample collections are performed pre-employment, and employment is contingent upon drug-free lab results. Other drug testing sample collections are conducted at the time of return to work after a leave that is greater than 6 months; under reasonable suspicion (such as abnormal speech or gait, or inappropriate conduct); after an on-the-job incident involving unsafe practices or causing significant damage; if deliberate disregard or negligence results in a violation of security requirements that is determined to have caused, or could have caused the loss or compromise of classified material;  and under random sampling.  For random testing, names will be selected by a computer program and supplied by Penn State Occupational Medicine on a random basis throughout the year. When notified of a random test, employees are required to report to the designated collection site no later than two hours after notification.

Employees who have a positive drug test result will be regarded as non-compliant with this program. Refusal to participate in testing shall be interpreted as a confirmed positive drug test result. Employees whose participation results in a drug test that is positive may request, at his or her expense, independent testing of the same sample by a laboratory that meets the requirements of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania substance abuse testing.

Employees who are non-compliant with the program will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge. Dependent upon the appropriate disciplinary action decision, the employee may also be required to submit to an evaluation by a Penn State Substance Abuse Professional (SAP). Non-compliant employees that hold a government security clearance will be required to report an adverse information report to the Defense Security Services, and this may result in a change to their ability to hold a clearance.  Non-compliant wage payroll employees will be subject to termination.

An employee who admits to illicit drug use and wishes to seek treatment and rehabilitation, in advance of a request to submit to a drug test, can contact the Laboratory Human Resources Management and/or Laboratory Facility Security Officer. The Laboratory, in concert with the Penn State Substance Abuse Professional (SAP), will evaluate the situation and make recommendations for treatment and rehabilitation programs. The employee will be required to successfully complete the recommended program suggested by the SAP, test negative to a drug test, as well as agree to accelerated random testing before the Laboratory will permit the employee to return to work.

Summary

The enhanced Laboratory drug testing program became effective July 1, 2016 and was implemented in compliance with DFARS 252.223-7004, Drug-Free Work Force, which permits the Laboratory to work on federal contracts, and with Penn State Policy AD33, A Drug-Free Workplace.  The program seeks to maintain a drug-free work place that facilitates the ability of Laboratory employees to more effectively perform research in an academic environment and to protect national security interests in the conduct of that research.

SENATE COMMITTEE ON RESEARCH

  • Ali Borhan
  • Yohchia Frank Chen
  • Alison Franklin
  • Andrew Geller
  • John Hanold
  • Michael Hickner
  • Kathleen Hodgdon
  • Janet Hughes
  • Ronald Huss
  • Andrey Krasilnikov
  • Derek Kreager
  • Todd LaJeunesse
  • Joshua Lambert
  • George Moldovan
  • Sudarshan Nelatury
  • Rogerio Neves, Vice-Chair
  • Azita Ranjbar
  • Andrew Schulz, Chair
  • Neil Sharkey
  • Alok Sinha
  • Mort Webster
  • Candice Yekel