Many employers use drug testing to help maintain a safe, healthy, and productive work environment. When conducting drug tests, employers must comply with ever evolving federal, state, and local laws. Below, we present several common scenarios to test your knowledge on some of the laws impacting drug testing. Choose the answer you think is right and then click to see the correct answer and explanation.

Q: An employer wants to drug test their job applicants. Which of the following statements is true about pre-employment drug testing?
A.In most states, employers can only conduct drug testing on applicants for safety-sensitive positions.
B.Most states permit pre-employment drug testing, but some have conditions employers must meet before conducting a drug test.
C.To conduct pre-employment drug testing, the employer must have a reasonable belief that the applicant uses illegal drugs.
D.Pre-employment drug testing is prohibited in most states.
Correct answer B.

Q: Which of the following statements is true about drug testing current employees?
A.Several states restrict testing current employees.
B.Most states prohibit drug testing current employees, unless it is random testing.
C.The restrictions are about the same for testing applicants and employees.
Correct answer A.

Q: True or False: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends that employers perform drug tests on every employee involved in a workplace accident.
Correct answer False

Q: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants and employees on the basis of a disability. Which of the following would the ADA generally protect?
A.An alcoholic.
B.An employee currently engaging in the illegal use of drugs.
C.A recovering drug addict who is no longer engaging in the illegal use of drugs.
D.A and C.
Correct answer D.

Q: Twenty-nine states and DC allow individuals to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. Nine states and DC permit recreational marijuana. Do any of these states require employers to allow employees to use marijuana during work hours or in the workplace?
A.All permit use in the workplace.
B.Most permit use in the workplace.
C.None permit use in the workplace.
Correct answer C.

Q: True or False: All states allow employers to immediately terminate any employee who fails a test for marijuana.
Correct answer False

Q: How should employers retain drug testing results?
A.In a confidential file separate from the employee’s personnel file.
B.In the employee’s personnel file.
C.They shouldn’t—they should dispose of them immediately.
Correct answer A.

Q: Colorado prohibits employers from taking adverse action against individuals based on their lawful off-duty conduct. Does this apply to recreational marijuana, which is considered lawful under Colorado law?
A.Employers are still waiting for the Colorado Supreme Court to weigh in on this question.
Correct answer C.

Q: Which state became the first (and only so far) to rule that in some situations, allowing employees to use medical marijuana off duty may be a reasonable accommodation for a disability under state law?
B.New York
Correct answer D.

Q: An employer has truck drivers who are subject to the Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) drug-testing regulations but operates in a state that permits both medical and recreational marijuana. What happens if one of these employees fails a drug test because of marijuana, according to the DOT?
A.The employee is allowed to keep driving.
B.The employee is barred from driving or performing other safety-sensitive duties until certain steps are completed.
Correct answer B.

Employers should understand and ensure compliance with federal, state, and local laws governing drug testing. Continue to watch for developments, especially in the evolving area of medical and recreational marijuana laws.

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