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NPR 3792.1D
Effective Date: May 14, 2018
Expiration Date: May 14, 2024
Printable Format (PDF)

Subject: NASA’s Plan for a Drug Free Workplace (Updated w/Change 2)

Responsible Office: Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer

| TOC | ChangeHistory | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | Chapter6 | Chapter7 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | ALL |

Chapter 3 Guidelines for Drug Testing

3.1 General Guidelines and Procedures

3.1.1 The Agency uses trained collection personnel and laboratories approved and certified by HHS and adheres to strict confidentiality requirements in accordance with the Mandatory Guidelines and the HHS Urine Specimen Collection Handbook for Federal Agency Drug Testing Programs.

3.1.2 Each Center is responsible for identifying facilities for drug testing, which comply with the Mandatory Guidelines. Under no circumstances will a specimen collection occur at the employee's residence.

3.1.3 The Agency may collect urine for drug testing. If alternate specimen types (e.g., oral fluids) are authorized under the Mandatory Guidelines, the Agency may collect alternate specimens in accordance with those guidelines. Specimen collections will be collected in accordance with procedures as specified in the Mandatory Guidelines and any related specimen collection handbook for Federal agency drug testing programs.

3.1.4 Individuals subject to testing are permitted to provide urine specimens in private, unless a direct observation collection procedure is necessary (pursuant to the Mandatory Guidelines). In these cases, the collector or MRO informs the NSSC Drug Testing Team. In turn, with the approval of the DPC and HR, the NSSC Drug Testing Team takes the necessary steps to conduct an observed collection.

3.1.5 The Agency uses a split specimen method of collection, in which a specimen is subdivided into two parts and independently sealed in the presence of the individual being tested.

3.1.6 All employees randomly tested will receive written notification of their test results.

3.1.7 When a specimen is reported by the laboratory as positive, adulterated, substituted, or invalid, the MRO shall contact the individual and afford them the opportunity to provide a legitimate medical explanation for the test result. If the individual chooses to offer an explanation for the aforementioned results, they may present to the MRO any information and/or declare any condition they believe might have affected the test result (e.g., legally prescribed medication). The MRO considers all information provided. Employees and applicants are not entitled to present evidence to the MRO in a trial-type administrative proceeding; however, the MRO has the discretion to accept evidence in any manner deemed most efficient. The HHS MRO Manual for Federal Agency Workplace Drug Testing Programs provides detailed information on when it is appropriate to accept evidence. If the MRO determines that the employee or applicant has provided a legitimate medical explanation for the other than negative (positive, adulterated, substituted, or invalid) test result, the MRO shall report a negative or negative/dilute result to the NSSC Drug Testing Team. If a urine test result is negative/dilute, refer to paragraph 3.8 of this directive. If the test result is positive, substituted, or adulterated, the MRO shall inform the individual that he/she may request a retest of the specimen. The individual may submit a request for a retest to the MRO, verbally or in writing, within 72 hours after being informed of the test results by the MRO. The retest is conducted using the split of the specimen at a different HHS certified laboratory, at the Agency's expense.

3.2 Pre-employment Drug Testing

3.2.1 All applicants, including current Agency employees, tentatively selected for a TDP as a result of applying for the position through a vacancy announcement, shall take a pre-employment drug test, unless the selectee is a current NASA civil servant who occupies a position subject to random drug testing at the time of the selection.

3.2.2 When issuing a vacancy announcement for a TDP, the servicing HR shall include an appropriate statement regarding pre-employment testing, e.g., "Any applicant tentatively selected for this position will be required to submit to screening for illegal drug use prior to appointment and may be subject to random drug testing while occupying the position." Failure of a vacancy announcement to contain this statement will not preclude pre-employment testing if advance notice is provided to an applicant in some other manner.

3.2.3 Procedures for Pre-Employment Testing:

a. Upon notification by HR that an applicant has been tentatively selected for a TDP, the NSSC Drug Testing Team will send a drug test package to the applicant.

b. The applicant shall take the drug test as soon as possible once the drug test notice has been received but no later than two business days after the applicant has received the package.

c. The applicant, unless they are a current NASA employee, is responsible for the travel costs to/from the collection site.

e. The Agency is responsible for the specimen collection and analysis costs.

f. The MRO is responsible for reviewing and reporting the test results to the NSSC Drug Testing Team, who will report the results to the servicing HR.

3.2.4 Timeframe Requirements for Pre-Employment Drug Tests

a. Pre-employment drug testing will not be scheduled more than 60 calendar days prior to the start date. Exceptions may be granted for extenuating circumstances on a case-by-case basis by the NSSC, in consultation with the Agency DPM.

b. Unless an exception has been granted by the NSSC, if the start date of a new hire to NASA is delayed for more than 60 calendar days from the date of the drug test, the individual shall be required to take a second drug test prior to entering on duty.

3.3 Random Drug Testing

3.3.1 Employees occupying positions that have been designated as TDP are subject to random drug testing.

3.3.2 The NSSC Drug Testing Team shall conduct random drug testing at least two times a year. The NSSC Drug Testing Team will select at least 25 percent of the total TDP pool each year.

3.3.3 Employees not in TDPs may volunteer for random testing by notifying HR. Volunteer employees are included in the pool of TDPs subject to random testing and the same conditions, procedures, and consequences for the finding of illegal drug use as those employees in TDPs. Volunteers remain in the random drug testing pool until they withdraw from participation by notifying the DPC at least 48 hours prior to a scheduled test.

3.3.4 Upon employees' assignment to a TDP, the NSSC Drug Testing Team shall issue an initial drug testing notice to each employee. The notice will include the following:

a. The position is a designated TDP and accordingly, employees are subject to random drug testing beginning 30 days after the date of the notice.

b. Employees are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including removal, if found to have used illegal drugs or for refusal to take a required drug test.

c. The circumstances under which the employee may voluntarily identify as a user of an illegal drug or drugs and receive counseling or rehabilitation without being subject to disciplinary action.

3.3.5 The NSSC notifies the employee's first-level supervisor when an employee is selected for random drug testing 48 hours (two business days) prior to the test day for the purposes of determining if the employee is available (i.e., the employee is not in an approved leave status or off site for training, etc.)

3.3.6 In any situation, the supervisor shall notify the employee no sooner than two hours prior to the scheduled test time that he/she is directed to report for testing, per the instructions provided by the NSSC.

3.3.7 Unless the supervisor defers a random drug test based on reasons described in section 3.4 below, employees who are working remotely or teleworking are required to report for random drug testing. Upon notification, supervisors may either cancel the scheduled telework day or direct the employee to report to the Center testing facility on the telework day. In situations where the employee is teleworking and lives a distance from the Center, the supervisor may contact the NSSC Drug Testing Team to request authorization for testing at an alternative collection facility.

3.4 Deferral of Random Testing

3.4.1 While participating in a counseling or rehabilitative program, the employee may be exempted from the random TDP pool for a period not to exceed 60 days, unless the employee is subject to an agreement or rehabilitative plan approved by management, in which case the employee may be exempted for the period specified in the agreement or rehabilitative plan.

3.4.2 An employee's random test may be deferred by the first-line supervisor or a higher level supervisor when the employee is unavailable for testing based on any of the following:

a. The employee is in a leave status that was approved prior to the supervisor's receipt of the test notice.

b. The employee is in an official travel status.

c. The employee is on his/her scheduled day off under an Alternative Work Schedule.

d. The employee is participating in a previously scheduled and approved work activity (e.g., training, conference, or meeting) off Center during the entire drug testing period.

e. When the employee is on Center but both the first- and second-level supervisors agree that, during the entire test period, there is a compelling need for the employee to perform a task or function that is time critical and for which no other employee can be substituted.

3.4.3 An employee whose test is deferred is subject to testing within 60 days following the deferral. Therefore, the supervisor shall not inform the employee that she/he was selected for random testing and deferred.

3.4.4 For an employee's deferred test, the supervisor is responsible for sending the NSSC Drug Testing Team a completed copy of the deferral form, explaining the reason for the deferral.

3.5 Reasonable Suspicion Testing

3.5.1 Reasonable suspicion testing may be required for any employee in a position which is designated for random testing when there is a reasonable suspicion that the employee uses illegal drugs whether on or off duty. Reasonable suspicion testing may also be required of any employee in any position when there is a reasonable suspicion of on-duty use or on-duty impairment.

3.5.2 A reasonable suspicion is not the same as a certainty; but unsupported speculation is not sufficient to constitute a reasonable suspicion. Factors that might support a reasonable suspicion include, among other things, any of the following:

a. Observable phenomena, such as direct observation of drug use or possession and/or the physical symptoms of being under the influence of a drug.

b. Arrest or conviction in the last year for a drug-related offense or the identification of an employee as the focus of a criminal investigation into illegal-drug possession, use, or trafficking (e.g., distribution of a controlled substance).

c. Information provided either by a reliable and credible source(s) or by independent corroboration.

d. Newly discovered evidence that the employee has tampered with a previous test result.

3.5.3 Procedures for Conducting Reasonable-Suspicion Testing.

a. If an employee is reasonably suspected of using illegal drugs, the employee's supervisor shall document, in writing, the information, facts, and circumstances that form the basis to recommend reasonable-suspicion testing. The supervisor's written documentation will include, at a minimum, the approximate dates and times of any relevant incidents, reliable (credible) sources of information, and the rationale leading to the recommendation for the test.

b. The supervisor shall obtain concurrence by a higher-level supervisor and the Center's OCC (OGC for Headquarters employees) before requesting a reasonable-suspicion test. After receiving concurrence, the supervisor will inform the NSSC Drug Testing Team to schedule a drug test.

c. Once reasonable-suspicion testing is conducted, the documentation described above in paragraph 3.5.3 a. will be supplemented with the findings of the test and the action taken, if applicable.

d. Any employee with a verified test result other than negative (i.e., positive, substituted, adulterated, or invalid) is subject to the same consequences as an employee found to use illegal drugs through any other means.

e. Employees with negative/dilute results shall retest until a negative result is received. However, if after further investigation the MRO determines there is a medical or physiological reason causing the negative/dilute results, the MRO will report the test as negative.

3.6 Post-Accident or Unsafe Practice Testing

3.6.1 An employee whose action(s) at or about the time of an accident (including an incident meeting the definition of a mishap as described in NPR 8621.1) provides reason to believe that such action(s) may have caused or contributed to an accident or cannot be completely discounted as a contributing factor to the accident is subject to drug testing as soon as practicable following an accident that involves one or more of the following:

a. The accident results in a death or personal injury requiring medical treatment.

b. The accident results in damage to Government or private property estimated to exceed $20,000.

3.6.2 Testing for illegal drug use can be required for an employee in a non-TDP.

3.6.3 A supervisor at the scene of an accident or, in the absence of a supervisor, a responsible official shall take the following steps to determine whether or not to initiate a post-accident or unsafe practice testing for illegal drug use:

a. Immediately evaluate the accident to determine whether or not it meets any of the criteria of paragraph 3.6.1, based on a review of the available facts.

b. Following a determination that the accident meets the criteria for testing for illegal drug use, take all practical steps to identify and document the names of employees who are subject to post-accident testing.

c. Inform, at a minimum, the DPC of the accident and the determination of the need to conduct post-accident or unsafe practice testing.

3.6.4 As soon as practicable after the accident, the supervisor at the scene of an incident or, in their absence, a responsible official shall document in writing the facts and circumstances of the accident that support the determination to conduct testing for illegal drug use, including the names of the employee(s) subject to testing.

3.6.5 Upon notification, the DPC shall immediately notify the Center Director, or designee of the Center Director, and contact the NSSC Drug Testing Team to initiate testing.

a. The supervisor or other management official shall inform the employee of the reason(s) that supported the decision to conduct a post-accident or unsafe practice drug test.

b. Testing will be accomplished as soon as practicable after the accident.

3.6.6 Employees who are subject to testing shall remain readily available until testing has been completed. Failure of an employee to remain readily available or refusal to submit to drug testing will subject the employee to the same consequences as an employee who refused to test under any other circumstances. Nothing in this directive will be construed to require a delay of necessary medical treatment for an injured employee following an accident or to prohibit an employee from leaving the scene of an accident to obtain necessary emergency medical treatment. Post-accident or unsafe practice testing is conducted independently of any mishap investigation. Nothing in this section will be construed to limit the authority of any entity or organization authorized to investigate a mishap or close call under NPR 8621.1.

3.6.7 Accident Testing of an Uninjured Employee.

a. For accidents that occur onsite during normal hours of duty, a supervisor at the scene of the accident or, in the absence of a supervisor, a responsible official shall direct an uninjured employee to remain at the scene or to go to a designated location, such as the Center's Health Unit, to await post-accident testing once all the mandatory steps have been taken in paragraph 3.6.3.

b. For accidents that occur onsite outside of normal hours of duty or occur offsite, a supervisor, at the scene of the accident or, in the absence of a supervisor, a responsible official shall direct an uninjured employee to remain at the scene of the accident or to go to a designated location to wait for post-accident testing.

3.6.8 Post-Accident Testing of an Injured Employee.

a. If an employee is injured and requires medical treatment and/or hospitalization, such treatment will be provided immediately.

b. Immediately following medical treatment, an employee is subject to post-accident testing within the time limitation specified in this directive. When the employee requires offsite medical treatment, he/she is subject to post-accident testing upon returning to the work site or will be directed to the nearest collection facility, whichever is most expedient.

3.7 Follow-up Testing

3.7.1 An employee, who has been referred to EAP based on a finding of illegal drug use, or by voluntary referral, as described in paragraph 4.4, and who successfully completes counseling and rehabilitation is subject to unannounced drug testing for a minimum period of one year and will be tested at least four times in that year or more frequently as specified in a disciplinary or last- chance agreement.

3.7.2 The NSSC Drug Testing Team will be notified by an appropriate official (e.g., management, HR, EAP) to begin follow-up testing and be provided with the terms of the disciplinary or last chance agreement, if applicable.

3.7.3 Follow-up testing is distinct from testing that may be imposed as a component of the EAP.

3.7.4 Upon successful completion of a counseling or rehabilitative program, employees are immediately returned to the TDP pool and are subject to follow-up testing in accordance with this directive.

3.8 Negative/Dilute Results

3.8.1. If the laboratory reports a test result as negative/dilute, the MRO informs the NSSC Drug Testing Team, who will arrange for the collection of another specimen from the employee as soon as possible. At that time, the employee will be counseled about the need for another test and to refrain from excess liquids.

3.8.2 In accordance with the Mandatory Guidelines, if the recollected specimen provides a negative or negative/dilute result, the MRO reports a negative result and no further action required.

3.8.3 If the MRO determines that the employee's or applicant's justification for the other than negative or negative/dilute test result is not sufficient, the result is considered to be a verified positive test result. If the MRO determines that the individual is unable to provide a legitimate medical explanation for a substituted or adulterated test result, this is considered to be a refusal to test. If the MRO determines that the individual is unable to provide a legitimate medical explanation for an invalid test result, another specimen will be collected with direct observation. The MRO reports the verified finding in accordance with the Mandatory Guidelines to the NSSC Drug Testing Team immediately for further action.

3.8.4 If less than four negative/dilute results are received from a random drug test, the individual shall be retested off Center at the nearest NSSC contractor-provided site.

3.8.5 If four or more negative/dilute results are obtained from a single drug test, the NSSC Drug Testing Team will conduct retests at the Center. The DPC will assist in arranging for the test and with distribution of the retest notice.

3.8.6 If the results of a pre-employment drug test are negative/dilute, the NSSC Drug Testing Team will notify the servicing HR contact immediately. HR will contact the applicant/employee to inform him/her of the result and the requirement for a retest. The NSSC Drug Testing Team will provide the applicant/employee with a drug retest notice.

3.9 Reconsideration of a TDP Designation

3.9.1 If an employee disagrees that the position is a TDP, he/she may file a request for reconsideration to the Director, Service Delivery Directorate, NSSC.

3.9.2 The employee shall submit the request, in writing, within 15 days of the date that the employee is notified that their position is a designated TDP.

3.9.3 The appeal will set forth all relevant information.

3.9.4 The decision by the Director, Service Delivery Directorate, NSSC is final. There is no further administrative reconsideration process.

| TOC | ChangeHistory | Preface | Chapter1 | Chapter2 | Chapter3 | Chapter4 | Chapter5 | Chapter6 | Chapter7 | AppendixA | AppendixB | AppendixC | ALL |
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