In a controversial decision issued yesterday, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Board of Directors voted to eliminate the Drug-Free Workplace Program (DFWP) discounts for group-rated employers. Instead, only non-group-rated employers will be eligible for the DFWP discount The elimination of the DFWP discount for group rated employers, combined with the reduction of the maximum available discount under the BWC’s group rating program from 85%-77% effective July 1, 2009, may deal a significant financial blow to many Ohio employers. These changes are consistent with the BWC’s previously stated belief that the group rating program was actuarially unsound and its intent to reduce the premium rates for employers that did not qualify for group rating. The elimination of the DFWP program for group-rated employers is likely to raise a fair bit of concern that the group-rated employers will no longer be incentivized to adopt, maintain and enforce drug and alcohol testing programs. Hopefully, these employers will recognize the value these programs have on the overall safety of their workplaces and that the potential reduction in industrial injuries will provide sufficient incentive to keep their workplaces drug and alcohol free. Only time will tell.