Adele Abrams, Esq., CMSP
President, Law Office of Adele L. Abrams PC
Adele L. Abrams is an attorney and Certified Mine Safety Professional who is president of the Law Office of Adele L. Abrams P.C., a multi-attorney firm with offices in Beltsville, MD, Denver, CO, and Charleston, WV. The firm represents employers in OSHA and MSHA litigation nationwide, and her firm also handles
employment law matters in a large number of states. Ms. Abrams and her firm colleagues provide employment and safety law consultation, safety audits, industrial hygiene assistance, and training services to companies in a variety of industries.
She is a member of the Maryland, DC and PA Bars; the U.S. District
Courts of Maryland, DC, and TN; the U.S. Court of Appeals, DC Circuit 3rd Circuit, and 4th Circuit; and the United States Supreme Court. She also serves on the adjunct faculties of the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and the University of Colorado-Boulder, where she teaches on employment, labor and
occupational safety law.
She has been a professional member of ASSE (now ASSP) since 1997 and has been a SPY award recipient at the practice specialty, chapter, and regional level multiple times. She is an active member of the National Safety Council, where she was awarded the Distinguished Service to Safety Award (DSSA) in 2017. Adele has co-authored several textbooks on employment law, occupational and mine safety and health, and is a regular columnist on safety law issues for multiple magazines.
Session 15 –Fitness for Duty: Balancing Safety Obligations with the Changing Landscape on Drug Testing, Opioids, Marijuana, and More
Run Time - 1:18:22
With the ongoing opioid epidemic and rapidly changing state laws around marijuana and drug testing, it may seem as if employers have fewer and fewer tools at their disposal to ensure that their employees come to work unimpaired and protect against the hazards of substance use on the job. However, by using a broad “fitness for duty” framework, employers can set performance standards that protect safety while avoiding potential liability under the ADA, OSHA’s antiretaliation provisions, and other relevant laws. In implementing this strategy, it is critical to clearly define safety-sensitive roles and duties, set transparent standards that require employees to be prepared to safely perform their work, and balance legal considerations with safety concerns.
You’ll learn how to:
-Identify state and federal legal considerations that impact your substance use and drug testing policies and procedures.
-Balance safety concerns surrounding substance use on the job with legal and practical considerations.
-Clearly define safety-sensitive roles and responsibilities.
-Determine what constitutes fitness for duty and how it interacts with your drug testing policies and safety programs.