The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation will begin randomly drug testing employees in May.
In a list of Frequently Asked Questions sent out to employees, YKHC said that it will randomly select 1% of its workforce every quarter to be tested for substances including marjiuana, methamphetamine, cocaine and other drugs. The health corporation says it will use a third party vendor to generate the random list of employees to be tested.
YKHC said that random drug testing is required to comply with the federal Drug Free Workplace Act, which is necessary to maintain eligibility with certain funding sources. That’s why YKHC is testing for marijuana, which although legal in Alaska, is listed as a controlled substance under federal law.
Any employee testing positive for any unauthorized drug will undergo a second test to confirm the initial result. YKHC says that employees will have a chance to explain any positive test results, but two positive results without an acceptable explanation will result in termination of employment. Fired employees will be eligible for rehire one year after termination.
YKHC had already been drug testing pre-employment and after workplace accidents, or upon reasonable suspicion. The health provider employs about 1400 people.