A Diverse Landscape of State Laws

As more types of drug testing technologies arrive on the scene, it is essential for employers to be aware of laws governing drug testing practices in the workplace. Speaking only of the private sector, Bill Current, president of WFC & Associates, a national consulting practice for testing companies, says that the existence and extent of drug testing laws vary considerably among states. Among the states that have drug testing laws, two different types of laws exist, and Current explains these as “mandatory” and “voluntary.” The difference between the two is fairly straightforward. Minnesota, a state that has a mandatory law, says that any employer that practices drug testing in the state must obey the provisions of that specific law. Florida, a state that has a voluntary law, offers an incentive to encourage employers to conduct drug testing. In this specific case, that incentive is a 5% workers compensation premium discount, but in order to qualify for it the employer has to drug test according to guidelines provided by the state. It begins to get complicated with employers that do business in multiple states. Current says, “If you’re a multistate employer, you’re constantly grappling with the various state laws that apply to you. The basic rule is that all applicable state laws apply.

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