The State Industrial Commission has adopted a policy outlining an employer's responsibility to build a prima facie case against paying unemployment benefits to an employee who has tested positive for drugs.

All Utah Department of Employment Security employees are directed to use the policy in determining unemployment eligibility where drug or alcohol issues are involved, according to the policy.For an employer to build a case against ineligibility of unemployment benefits, he must have a written policy on drug testing that is consistent with the Utah Drug and Alcohol Testing Act and provide reasonable proof and description of the method of telling all of the employees about the policy.

Proof of testing procedures outlined in the policy include documentation of sample collection, storage and transportation procedure, documentation the results of any screening test were verified or confirmed by gas chromatography, gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy or other comparable reliable method and a copy of the verified or confirmed positive drug or alcohol test report.

The policy said, "Proof of a verified or confirmed positive drug or alcohol test result or refusal to provide a test sample, indicates a violation of a reasonable employer rule for which the claimant may be disqualified from receipt of unemployment benefits, provided that the employee's termination was consistent with the employer's written alcohol and drug policy."

Under the Utah Drug and Alcohol Testing Act, it is lawful for an employer to test employees or prospective employees for drugs or alcohol as a condition of hiring or continued employment, the policy said.

The Legislature has determined the use of drugs and alcohol creates an unsafe and unproductive work place and in determining a drug testing policy the interest of employees, employers and the general public must be taken into account, the policy said.