On September 14, 2021, the Kentucky Transformational Employment Program (KTEP) was launched at the Kentuckiana Health Collaborative’s September Community Health Forum. KTEP is a voluntary program for employers who facilitate assessment for substance use disorder treatment for offerees or employees who test positive on employment-related drug screens while maintaining their employment. KTEP allows employers to standardize the identification and intervention of substance misuse or substance use disorder among their employees and position all parties to maintain healthy and productive employability. The program was developed through a year-long collaborative partnership between the Kentuckiana Health Collaborative, Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Kentucky Chamber Foundation, Kentucky Opioid Response Effort, and Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy.
The program is outlined under Kentucky Senate Bill 191, which was signed into law in April 2020. The Commonwealth of Kentucky enacted the bill to foster economic opportunities for individuals impacted by substance use and to facilitate access to substance use disorder treatment. Under Senate Bill 191, employers who chose to enroll in the program receive protections from civil action regarding negligent hiring and hiring because of an employee’s substance use disorder.
The goals of KTEP are to increase the number of employable individuals in Kentucky, improve talent retention, facilitate access to substance use disorder treatment, and support people impacted by substance use. Resources are available for employers to implement the program, including program guidelines, training videos, and technical support. These resources can all be accessed here.
For workplaces with KTEP implemented, both offerees (person with a conditional offer of employment) and existing employees who test positive on employment related drug screens are eligible to participate. After an offeree or employee tests positive on a drug screen, the employer can offer them participation in KTEP. If they accept, the employer will then refer them for assessment by a qualified treatment provider to determine if the individual has a diagnosable substance use disorder that requires clinical treatment. After assessment, the qualified treatment provider will determine if and what treatment plan will be necessary for the individual. After they adhere to these recommendations, the provider can authorize the offeree or employee to return to work. At this time, offerees may be administered another pre-employment drug screen and with a negative result, resume the hiring process. Existing employees may return to the work with other stipulations in place as determined by the employer’s drug and alcohol policy.
After enrolling in the program, there are a series of steps for employers to begin implementing KTEP in their workplace. First, employers should familiarize themselves with the KTEP guidelines and training videos. In accordance with these guidelines, employers will then develop and/or revise their written drug and alcohol policy, establish file retention processes, and review their benefit offerings. After these components have been established, the employer should then establish a relationship with a qualified treatment provider for assessment. Reviewing and achieving buy-in from leadership and legal counsel is the last step in this process before the program should be shared with employees.