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Drug Screening Compliance

By: Vanessa Mitchell Tuesday, 13 February 2024

Waiting room

Drug testing is utilized to create a safe and drug-free environment for employees and clients. But recently with marijuana legalization gaining popularity and various human rights movements, there can be confusion as to when to test, how to test, and the legality of testing. It is time to do a quick review of your drug screening practices and consult with a qualified employment lawyer in order to determine if you are compliant.

Is pre-employment drug testing legal?

Pre-employment testing is customary practice and legal in most jurisdictions. State legislation can vary from state to state, so you must do your homework to ensure you are compliant. It is also important to keep up to date on legislative changes and trends.

Legislation passed which prohibits New York City employers from testing job candidates for marijuana as a condition of employment. Exceptions exist for federal or state contract or grants and for safety and security sensitive jobs. Once the mayor signs the legislation, the law will take effect one year after enactment.

An Iowa court decision recently validates how important it is to keep up on the nuances of drug testing laws in your jurisdiction. Iowa state’s drug testing law, Iowa Code Section 730.5 is among the most technical drug testing laws in the nation.

This example demonstrates how important it is to keep up to date on drug screening regulations to ensure your processes are compliant.

What are the common reasons for drug testing?

Pre-Employment, Periodic, Random, Reasonable Suspicion, Post Accident, and Annual Retention Testing.

Pre-Employment: Washington D.C. unanimously passed legislation in 2014 requiring employers to drug test a prospective employee only after a conditional offer of employment has been made. The offer of employment can be rescinded if the applicant tests positive for the drug test.

Post Incident: After an on-the-job accident has occurred, you may choose to test the employee involved.

Random: You can choose to randomly drug test your employees on a periodic basis, or after an employee’s inability to perform a job, or suspicion of use.


What are the common testing methods?

Urine Testing (most common), Hair testing, and Oral Fluid Testing. There are many options when selecting drug testing including: DOT, 5-Panel, 10-Panel, 11 Panel, 12 Panel, 14 Panel, Alcohol and more!

Does Choice Screening provide drug testing?

Yes, we are partnered with three of the most experienced leaders in substance and alcohol abuse testing: LabCorp Solutions, Quest Diagnostics, and eScreen. There are over 15,000 testing sites collectively, online scheduling, MRO service, and integration into our system to create fast turnarounds!

What is the drug and alcohol testing process?

The applicant or employee will go to a collection site to submit a specimen. The collection site performs initial testing to confirm the validity of the specimen. The specimen is then sent to a lab to be tested. Negative results are returned within a few days of specimen collection. Positive results are reviewed by a Medical Review Officer to confirm permissible use.


What are the drug and alcohol testing regulations by state?

*Please note that this list is for informational purposes only and does not include all states and territories. Be sure to consult with legal counsel prior to testing your applicants and employees.

ALABAMA: Alabama Code 25-5-330 to 25-5-340

ALASKA: Alaska Statutes 23.10.600 - 23.10.699

ARIZONA: Arizona Statute 23-493 TO 23-493.12

ARKANSAS: Arkansas SB773, ACT 1552 and Arkansas HB2646, ACT 1757

CALIFORNIA: Executive Order D-58-86, Labor Code Statute 1025

BOULDER, CO: Boulder, CO Human Rights Code Title 12, Chapter 3

CONNETICUT: Connecticut Title 31, Chapter 557

DELAWARE: Delaware Code Ann. Tit. 14 Statute 2910

FLORIDA: Florida Workers’ Compensation Code Section 440.10

GEORGIA: Georgia Code 34-9-410 to 421 and Georgia Code 33-99-40.2

HAWAII: Hawaii Revised Statute 329B-1-8

Hawaii Administrative Rules Title 11, Chapter 13

IDAHO: Idaho Code 72-1701 to 1716

ILLINOIS PUBLIC WORKS: Illinois Public Works Act 095-063

IOWA: Iowa Code 730.5 and Iowa Administrative Code Rule 641-12.1-12.21

KANSAS: Kansas Statute 65-1107 to 1108a and Kansas Statute 44-706 and Kansas Statute 75-4362

KENTUCKY: 803 KAR 25:280

LOUISANA: LAC 61:I.101 and Policy: Substance Abuse and Drug-Free Workplace and LA Statute 1005

MAINE: Title 26, Chapter 7, Subchapter 3 Statute 681

MARYLAND: Maryland Regulations Code Title and Statute 17-214

MINNESOTA: Minnesota Statute 181.950 TO 181.957

MISSISSIPPI: Mississippi Code Title 15, Part 3, Subpart 1

MONTANA: Montana Code 39-2-205-211

NEBRASKA: Nebraska Revised Statutes Chapter 48-1901 to 48-1910

NEVADA: NRS 284.406

NORTH CAROLINA: North Carolina Statute 95-230 to 95-235 

OHIO: Rule 4123-17-58

OKLAHOMA: Okla. Stat. tit. 40 Statute 551

OREGON: Oregon Revised Statute 438.435 and OAR 333-024-0305 to 333-024-0365

RHODE ISLAND: Rhode Island Title 28, 6.5.1 to 28-6.5-2

SOUTH CAROLINA: South Carolina Code of Laws 41-1-15 and South Carolina Code of Laws 38-73-500

SOUTH DAKOTA: SD Codified Law 34-20G-22

TENNESSEE: Tennessee Chapter 0800-02-12 and Senate Bill 768

UTAH: UTAH CODE Chapter 38

VERMONT: Vermont Statute Title 21, Subchapter 11 and Vermont Statute Title 118, Chapter 86

WASHINGTON: WA 356-46-125

WYOMING: Wyoming Workers’ Safety & Compensation Division: Chapter 1, and Chapter 10


Contact our team of experts today to start incorporating drug testing into your background screening process.

As a consumer reporting agency, we cannot act as your attorney or give you advice. This blog is not all encompassing. You must consult qualified legal counsel to ensure you are maintaining a compliant program.

Topics: Compliance, Drug & Alcohol Testing

Vanessa Mitchell

Vanessa Mitchell

Passionate blogger dedicated to making your life easier when it comes to background screening.