State Construction Projects Will Require Drug-Free Workplace Policies Beginning January 2003
By Evelyn P. Schonberg
The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has had in place for a number of years a discount program called the Drug Free Workplace Program (DFWP). A company that meets the initial eligibility requirements may be eligible for a premium discount of 10%, 15% or 20%, depending upon the program level requested and approved by the BWC. Generally speaking, the DFWP requires mandatory drug and alcohol testing, training of your workforce and a commitment to rehabilitation.
On September 20, 2002, Governor Taft signed an executive order that requires contractors and subcontractors who wish to be eligible for state construction projects to enroll in the DFWP, or a comparable program approved by the BWC. The new policy will be phased in to allow contractors time to prepare programs.
Specifically, beginning January 1, 2003, contractors may submit bids to the state without being enrolled in the DFWP. However, they must enroll in the DFWP or a similar drug program within 10 days of the bid opening. Beginning July 1, 2003, all contractors submitting bids must be enrolled in the DFWP or a similar program.
Currently, the DFWP provides for only two application dates each year — June 30 and December 31. In light of Governor Taft’s executive order, we highly recommend that contractors who wish to be enrolled in the DFWP submit an application to the BWC as soon as possible. The DFWP provides for a 90-day period to prepare and publicize your new drug and alcohol program.
If you are interested in participating in the DFWP or obtaining further information, please contact Lynn Schonberg.