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Offline bluefeyd

New entrant into the field. Wondering about UA.
« on: Nov 09, 2013, 05:06 »

When I got out of the Navy (honorable discharge, eight years and change) I went to work for a non-nuclear contractor doing shipyard electrician work in the summer of 2012, and I popped on the drug test (due to my roommate at the time's smoking, did not think that could happen, but yeah it does).  This resulted in me getting canned after a week and a half and given a six month period where I could not work for the contractor. After the time period past, I went back to working for the contractor, and was working for them up until my successful interview and offer receipt for this nuclear job.

This hiccup with the contractor did not come up in the hiring process, and when I spoke to my old boss (again not nuclear) he said that he would not mention it as it was an internal matter, but while filling out the UA forms it made me concerned. I don't want to screw this up, and I don't want to open a can of worms (though based on other forum responses to other situations, the consensus seems to be pop those bad boys open).

 I am specifically curious on how to proceed because it does not fall under the 10 questions asked because it was a pre-employment security screening issue (as framed by the contractor, again not nuclear) so it was not violating a FFD policy; use, sale or possession; subverting a testing program; refusal to take a test; subject to a treatment plan; or being subject to a law enforcement action. It was an employment action that changed my job responsibilities/removal from a job, but it was not abuse based (as is questioned) it was a screening issue.

What is the best way to proceed on this? Am I just screwed or being paranoid about a non-major issue? Would providing the following be a sufficient explanation of the situation?

"When I started to work for XXXX in May of 2012, I had a positive on the pre-employment drug screening (due to environmental exposure, I was completely surprised) and was suspend/terminated from contract work for six months. After six months, I restored my eligibility for contract work, passed another screening test, and went to work on a new contract when it became available."

My only other nuclear work experience  was in the Navy, and they would deep six someone for ever for this sort of thing.
« Last Edit: Nov 09, 2013, 06:01 by bluefeyd »

Offline Rennhack

Re: New entrant into the field. Wondering about UA.
« Reply #1 on: Nov 09, 2013, 06:39 »
due to environmental exposure, I was completely surprised

No one is going to believe that line.  'Graphic' is our resident subject matter expert, see what he has to say.
« Last Edit: Nov 09, 2013, 06:40 by Rennhack »

Offline bluefeyd

Re: New entrant into the field. Wondering about UA.
« Reply #2 on: Nov 09, 2013, 09:20 »
Look I can understand how you might think it is a "line", but this is what happened to me. After this setback, I finished up my degree in nuclear tech (making straight A's), got rid of my roommate, avoided being around people who smoke, and went back to work for the same contracting company after passing another test. I would not have taken the initial work if I thought that I was going to fail the pre-screen. I wanted to contest the findings, and asked to do so, but that avenue was not open me short of hiring a lawyer, which I could not really afford at the time and was not particularly justified as an expense for what was a $15 an hour contracting gig. When I went back to work for the contractor on a new contract the pay rate was almost double. We put the hiccup behind us.

I just want advice on how I should deal with this situation. I did have poor judgement in having a roommate who blazed it down. I don't want that to negate my years of training, experience, and education.

Content1

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Re: New entrant into the field. Wondering about UA.
« Reply #3 on: Nov 10, 2013, 04:12 »
I will take what you have written at face value. You lived with a roommate who smoked pot though you did not participate yourself. Maybe your case demonstrates that secondhand smoke from pot smokers is detectable. This brings up a lot of questions with the legalization of pot in so many areas. You may have to forgo attending rock concerts, for example, in states like Colorado. I hope most businesses will enforce any no smoking laws to include pot.
This brings up another question though that they're looking for in nuclear power. They expect people to use common sense. If you intended to be in this field your common sense should have told you being surrounded by a pot smoker and his secondhand smoke could affect you. This may be more of the problem than the actual drug use.  Many times incidents at the plants involve people not using common sense.
It seems if you were never charged with anything unless there is a question on employment questionnaire that asks, "have you ever been discharged from employment due to use of illegal controlled substances in a drug test?" Since you stated you were never actually a user and you state that in an application I can't see how you would be lying then.  The important thing is to answer the questions truthfully and precisely. You should not have to read things into the question or volunteer things that the question does not ask.

Offline btkeele

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Re: New entrant into the field. Wondering about UA.
« Reply #4 on: Nov 10, 2013, 06:59 »
If you put down that you have never tried drugs and show a positive test, no matter the circumstances, it will not go well.  If you do not disclose it and they find out about it, it will
be even worse.

Offline Eric_Bartlett

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Re: New entrant into the field. Wondering about UA.
« Reply #5 on: Nov 11, 2013, 07:59 »
After being on the "hiring" side of things for 20+ yrs I can tell you a positive is a positive is a positive regardless if it was "second hand smoke" from your roommate, the stripper blew it in your face, or you were at a party and breathed it in (all excuses I have heard over the years, the roomate one being the most prevalent).  If you do not report it and it comes out in the background check, which it will 99.99% of the time, your career in nuke power will be short lived.  If you do report it, your entrance into the nuke industry will be an uphill climb for a while until you establish yourself with a clean record.  Either way you will have a rocky road ahead.  

Good luck,
Eric
« Last Edit: Nov 12, 2013, 07:28 by Eric_Bartlett »
The opinions & views expressed by me are mine and mine alone and may not reflect those of the company.

Offline bluefeyd

Re: New entrant into the field. Wondering about UA.
« Reply #6 on: Nov 12, 2013, 01:26 »
Thank you for your insights and for wishing me good luck. Looks like I rocky hill to climb. Thank you all for your candor and responses.

Offline Smart People

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Re: New entrant into the field. Wondering about UA.
« Reply #7 on: Nov 12, 2013, 02:16 »
I don't want to screw this up, and I don't want to open a can of worms (though based on other forum responses to other situations, the consensus seems to be pop those bad boys open).

I think by now you've figured out that the reason we have that consensus is that we know that nearly any issue can be dealt with if handled honestly, however if a lie is discovered, the issue is over and you are out. Much like integtrity issues in Nuke school. You remember those. Right?
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Offline bluefeyd

Re: New entrant into the field. Wondering about UA.
« Reply #8 on: Nov 12, 2013, 04:59 »
I do. Instead of trying to split hairs, I was open and upfront on the paperwork I turned in. Now to see what's next. Hopefully not the coal industry.

Offline Higgs

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Re: New entrant into the field. Wondering about UA.
« Reply #9 on: Nov 12, 2013, 05:49 »
I do. Instead of trying to split hairs, I was open and upfront on the paperwork I turned in. Now to see what's next. Hopefully not the coal industry.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Justin
"How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessness. How unnatural. How cheap. How cowardly. How pathetic.” - Ted Nugent

Fermi2

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Re: New entrant into the field. Wondering about UA.
« Reply #10 on: Nov 12, 2013, 07:17 »
What exactly is wrong with the coal industry?

Offline GLW

Re: New entrant into the field. Wondering about UA.
« Reply #11 on: Nov 13, 2013, 12:33 »
When I got out of the Navy (honorable discharge, eight years and change) I went to work for a non-nuclear contractor doing shipyard electrician work in the summer of 2012, and I popped on the drug test (due to my roommate at the time's smoking, did not think that could happen, but yeah it does)..............

........My only other nuclear work experience  was in the Navy, and they would deep six someone for ever for this sort of thing.

Well, after thinking on this juxtaposition for several days all I can come up with is this:



Or, as my Dad used to say, "Stupid is expensive."

That being said, good luck and thank you for your service,... 8)

been there, dun that,... the doormat to hell does not read "welcome", the doormat to hell reads "it's just business"

Offline hamsamich

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Re: New entrant into the field. Wondering about UA.
« Reply #12 on: Nov 13, 2013, 01:50 »
4.2| Positive tests for cannabinoids in urine may also occur as a result of passive smoking, with cannabinoid (THC-acid) levels of over 20ng/ml detectable in one case 4 days after passive exposure. It was concluded that presence of cannabinoids in urine or blood is not unequivocal proof of active cannabis smoking... Magerl et al found THC-acid levels of up to 30-50ng/ml from passive-exposed subjects, and recommended a threshold of 65ng/ml to differentiate between active and passive smoking of cannabis.

but

 This is a question that has had a long history. It has been shown that it is possible to have minute detectable levels of THC from passive inhalation, although with the standard DOT/SAMHSA screening cutoff (50 ng/ml) this is not possible. The controversy came from studies that showed that it is possible to produce a positive urine test when an initial cutoff of 20 ng/ml is used. There are numerous scientific articles that validate this point; however, exposure conditions were so unrealistic that they were characterized as nearly intolerable certainly not passive but active participation. Since all certified labs must use the 50 ng/ml for federally covered workers, a positive due to second hand smoke is not possible.

almost everything I read on the Inet whether pro or not for drugs said similar to the above.

don't know what the level the op was popped at.  assuming nuc plants test at 50.

so my question is: was the OP a federally covered worker tested at 50ng/ml, or not?  not that it would matter much since since he had "a positive", but it is interesting. 

chuckdhuff

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Re: New entrant into the field. Wondering about UA.
« Reply #13 on: Nov 13, 2013, 09:08 »
4.2| Positive tests for cannabinoids in urine may also occur as a result of passive smoking, with cannabinoid (THC-acid) levels of over 20ng/ml detectable in one case 4 days after passive exposure. It was concluded that presence of cannabinoids in urine or blood is not unequivocal proof of active cannabis smoking... Magerl et al found THC-acid levels of up to 30-50ng/ml from passive-exposed subjects, and recommended a threshold of 65ng/ml to differentiate between active and passive smoking of cannabis.

but

 This is a question that has had a long history. It has been shown that it is possible to have minute detectable levels of THC from passive inhalation, although with the standard DOT/SAMHSA screening cutoff (50 ng/ml) this is not possible. The controversy came from studies that showed that it is possible to produce a positive urine test when an initial cutoff of 20 ng/ml is used. There are numerous scientific articles that validate this point; however, exposure conditions were so unrealistic that they were characterized as nearly intolerable certainly not passive but active participation. Since all certified labs must use the 50 ng/ml for federally covered workers, a positive due to second hand smoke is not possible.

almost everything I read on the Inet whether pro or not for drugs said similar to the above.

don't know what the level the op was popped at.  assuming nuc plants test at 50.

so my question is: was the OP a federally covered worker tested at 50ng/ml, or not?  not that it would matter much since since he had "a positive", but it is interesting. 

That is what I had assumed but never bothered to research. Very informative, thanks. I bet they had no shortage of volunteers for that study.

Offline Marlin

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Re: New entrant into the field. Wondering about UA.
« Reply #14 on: Nov 13, 2013, 09:09 »
4.2| Positive tests for cannabinoids in urine may also occur as a result of passive smoking,

Citation

http://www.idmu.co.uk/pdfs/drugtest.pdf

Offline GLW

Re: New entrant into the field. Wondering about UA.
« Reply #15 on: Nov 13, 2013, 05:06 »
As a nukeworker I'm always incredulous when folks spend so much time looking into the details of and debating just what is what with marijuana detection,...

It's like radar detectors, the only people looking 'em up and going through the fine detail of what is what are the people who want to drive faster than the speed limit,...

These are the worst threads on these forums,...

 [2cents]

been there, dun that,... the doormat to hell does not read "welcome", the doormat to hell reads "it's just business"

Offline hamsamich

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Re: New entrant into the field. Wondering about UA.
« Reply #16 on: Nov 13, 2013, 08:34 »
I think it is good information, with the way marijuana use is being legalized in some states combined with the sorry state of the economy, more and more young people will probably be living with someone who smokes MJ.  It would be good to know if you can actually get a contact positive or not.  I always thought "no way", but it seems it is possible, although not likely.  And with a positive being a positive, if someone gets tested at a lower level than normally tested for in nuclear power, it would make it much more likely for a contact positive to occur.  Breaking the speed limit is one thing, but getting screwed for being in someone's car for breaking the speed limit would not be cool.

Offline GLW

Re: New entrant into the field. Wondering about UA.
« Reply #17 on: Nov 13, 2013, 09:28 »
I think it is good information, with the way marijuana use is being legalized in some states combined with the sorry state of the economy, more and more young people will probably be living with someone who smokes MJ.  It would be good to know if you can actually get a contact positive or not.  I always thought "no way", but it seems it is possible, although not likely.  And with a positive being a positive, if someone gets tested at a lower level than normally tested for in nuclear power, it would make it much more likely for a contact positive to occur.  Breaking the speed limit is one thing, but getting screwed for being in someone's car for breaking the speed limit would not be cool.

well,...

that's a good point,...

been there, dun that,... the doormat to hell does not read "welcome", the doormat to hell reads "it's just business"

chuckdhuff

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Re: New entrant into the field. Wondering about UA.
« Reply #18 on: Nov 14, 2013, 10:00 »
It's like radar detectors, the only people looking 'em up and going through the fine detail of what is what are the people who want to drive faster than the speed limit,...

"I wanna go fast." - Ricky Bobby

Graphic

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Re: New entrant into the field. Wondering about UA.
« Reply #19 on: Nov 14, 2013, 04:17 »
When I got out of the Navy (honorable discharge, eight years and change) I went to work for a non-nuclear contractor doing shipyard electrician work in the summer of 2012, and I popped on the drug test (due to my roommate at the time's smoking, did not think that could happen, but yeah it does).

Trust me they hear that excuse on almost a daily basis so that one really won't fly. I wouldn't even put that in your paperwork cause that will just make it even worse, in my opinion. It has been proven, and no I don't have any links cause I don't really have time to look for them, but it is almost impossible to fail a test from second hand smoke. If I recall correctly there was some slight possibility but you would basically have to be in a very small room and be exposed to the smoke for a very long period of time. Regardless of whatever facts may be true it isn't a good defense.



I am specifically curious on how to proceed because it does not fall under the 10 questions asked because it was a pre-employment security screening issue (as framed by the contractor, again not nuclear) so it was not violating a FFD policy; use, sale or possession; subverting a testing program; refusal to take a test; subject to a treatment plan; or being subject to a law enforcement action. It was an employment action that changed my job responsibilities/removal from a job, but it was not abuse based (as is questioned) it was a screening issue.

Well technically you did violate a FFD policy. You failed the test for marijuana which was obviously against their policy because you were canned on top of not being eligible for rehire for 6 months.


Honestly, probably won't get access simply because of the fact it was so recent. My suggestion would be to continue working for non-nuclear type jobs until the failed test gets a little closer to the 5 year old mark. If you decide to take the chance to gain access you will have to do a few extra things. First, in your work history you will need to go back 5 years rather than 3 years because of the drug offense. All of the jobs you had in between that period will have to be verified. You will also have to complete the MMPI and you will have a mandatory interview with the psych. In addition to that you will have to complete a substance abuse evaluation which is typically completed offsite by a certified substance abuse counselor --- this will cost you out of your own pocket in most cases and I've seen the prices range from 150-300 bucks for the evaluation. Once the evaluation is complete the site psych and mro will make a determination as to whether or not you are fit for access.

If you get denied access then you will also have to list that on any future attempts at gaining access.

Good luck

 


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