Member Input Needed on Proposed Pre-Employment Drug Testing Program

Last year, with the support of WIB, state lawmakers created a Pre-Employment Drug Screening program under which an employer may voluntarily submit to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) the results of a drug test on an individual as a condition of an offer of employment or notify DWD that an individual declined to submit to such a test, along with information necessary to identify the individual.

In turn, the DWD must use this information to determine if the prospective employee is receiving UI benefits. If the prospective employee is a UI claimant, the program sets forth the following consequences:

a) ineligibility for UI benefits for a period of time for an individual whoeither fails a drug test or declines to take a drug test; or

b) eligibility for UI benefits if the individual enrolls in the substance abuse treatment program and undergoes a job skills assessment.

State lawmakers directed DWD to set the parameters and establish the administrative details of this new program. Recently, DWD came forward with its proposal. The key elements are:

1. Pre-Employment Testing

An employer may voluntarily report to the DWD the positive results of a drug test on an individual if all of the following apply:

a) the test was conducted as a condition of an offer of employment and the employer informed the individual, before testing, that the positive drug test results may be submitted to DWD;

b) the test was conducted or confirmed by a laboratory certified by the United States Department of Health and Human Services; and

c) the individual tested positive for one or more controlled substances without evidence of a valid prescription for each controlled substance.

2. Employer Reporting of Positive Results of a Drug Test

Within 3 business days from the date on which the employer received the positive results, the employer must provide DWD with:

a) Company contact information and if applicable, their UI account number;

b) Contact information including the Social Security Number of the individual that tests positive.

c) Documentation of the conditional offer of employment;

d) Information related to the administration of the test and positive results; and

e) The date and manner in which the employer withdrew the conditional offer of employment after the employer received the positive results.

3. Employer Reporting of an Individual who Declines a Drug Test to DWD

Within 3 business days from the date on which the individual declines to submit to the drug the employer must provide DWD with:

a) Company contact information and if applicable, their UI account number;

b) Contact information including the Social Security Number of the individual that declines to take the drug test;

c) Documentation of the conditional offer of employment;

d) Documentation that the individual declined to submit to the drug test; and

e) The date and manner in which the employer withdrew the conditional offer of employment after the individual declined to submit to the drug test

4. Period of Ineligibility and Requalification Requirements for UI Benefits.
A UI claimant who either tests positive or declines to submit to a drug test is ineligible to receive UI benefits until he\she earns wages after the week in which the failure occurred equal to at least 6 times the individual’s weekly benefit rate in employment or other work covered under UI law.
A UI claimant who tests positive may maintain eligibility for UI benefits by enrolling in and complying with a substance abuse treatment program and completing a job skills assessment.

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) will hold a public hearing on their Pre-employment drug testing, substance abuse treatment program and job skills assessment proposal on Thursday, July 7, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at 201 East Washington Avenue, Room H306 in Madison.

Written comments may be submitted to:

Janell Knutson
Bureau of Legal Affairs Director
Division of Unemployment Insurance
P.O. Box 8942
Madison, WI 53707-8942

or via email to Janell.knutson@dwd.wi.gov. Written comments must be received at or before the public hearing to be held on July 7, 2016.
We encourage members to review the proposal and offer their comments and suggestions. After the public comment period, DWD will review the testimony and consider changes. Final approval by the Governor and the Wisconsin State Legislature is required before this program can be fully implemented.

Making Our Case to Governor Walker to Repeal Wisconsin’s Personal Property Tax

Last Thursday, the 29 organizations, including WIB, which comprise the Coalition to Repeal Wisconsin’s Personal Property Tax hand-delivered a letter to Governor Scott Walker asking for “his commitment in the 2017-2019 State Budget to repeal this tax, whether in full or phased out over several years.”

The key excerpts from this letter include:

“Cumulatively, our coalition represents more than 400,000 Wisconsin businesses employing over a million employees as well as thousands of individual taxpayers across the state.”

“The personal property tax is an unfair and repressive tax that reminds businesses every January that Wisconsin’s tax burden remains too high.”

“All of our neighboring states have eliminated or are phasing out the personal property tax.”

WIB Partner Araymus Offering Free Website Analysis and Resources

In a collaborated effort to help support the growth and innovation fueling our great state of makers, Araymus, a WIB partner focused on web and workforce development, is providing free website tools to help businesses assess where they are falling short in the modern marketplace online.

Araymus exists to help leaders of the manufacturing industry prepare for the rising demands of exposure online to not only customers, but to people in the hiring process as well.

Workforce development is rapidly becoming internet-dependent.

The process for getting your business in front of the appropriate audience of applicants requires an engaging and ongoing digital presence.

Once you capture their attention, the ability to provide an impressive and interactive hiring platform will make all the difference in helping you to grow on schedule.

Free Site Tool

Visit Araymus at www.araymus.com to learn more.

We sincerely hope you find this e-publication to be a valuable member service. Let us know what you think and how we can make it better by contacting the editor, Brian Dake, at bdake@wibiz.org.

Sincerely,

John Gard
Wisconsin Independent Businesses