Being told that you are going to be tested for alcohol and drugs can be a stressful situation. It is extremely important that you get a Shop Steward involved immediately.
Your Shop Steward can advise you of your rights and get in touch with your Business Agent. You can read Articles 16 and 35 in the National UPS agreement to get detailed information, but here are the basics.
First, do not refuse to take a test! You can be discharged for refusing to take the test and that is nearly impossible to overcome.
Have your Steward find out why the test is being given, i.e. is it random, is it post-accident, is it under “Reasonable Cause” (when 2 trained supervisors observe your conduct and believe you are under the influence), is it pre-qualification for a feeder job, or is it based on follow up testing upon completing rehabilitation?
If it is reasonable cause testing, your shop steward should find out which two supervisors observed your behavior, when they were trained in this, and what was the specific behavior in question?
You are entitled to request a blood test to confirm the presence of drugs (National Article 35 section 3.8). The reason this is a smart request is because if the blood test does not confirm the presence of drugs, you could just be facing a warning letter. Get the help you may need and don’t let it happen again or you could face discharge.
You can come forward to management with your Steward that you have a problem and need rehabilitation. This must be done before doing anything that you can be disciplined for in connection with the problem. i.e.: having an accident on even just being on the clock while under the influence.
Teamster Rehabilitation opportunities are offered through your health plans.
Full-Time UPS members are eligible for Teamster Center Services (TCS). TCS deals with many problems members may face in addition to rehabilitation. You can reach TCS at 1-800-443-4827 M-F 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. You may leave a message after hours.
Part-time UPS members should contact TeamCare for an in network benefit. Call 1-800-323-5000, they can be reached Monday thru Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. CST.
Shop Stewards should learn to listen carefully. Take good notes of the names of the people involved as well as the time and place. Observe all procedures of the testing. Ask questions if you are not sure of something. It is better to call your Business Agent to ask questions than to be unsure.