Workplace Drug Testing Issues – Maine State Laws
These categories do not affect DOT-regulated drug testing. Government employers should always call for potential additional restrictions on employee drug testing.
Alert – Effective 02/01/2018, employers should use caution and seek legal advice regarding pre-employment and random drug testing for Marijuana due to the Maine voters ” Question 1 – An Act to Legalize Marijuana” (“the Act”). See more below about Maine and Marijuana.
Employers wanting to enact a drug testing program must have a policy approved by the Maine Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Standards. Maine Statute on Substance Abuse Testing – Title 26, Chapter 26, Subchapter 3-A.
Effective May 2, 2008, a new law removes the prior law’s prohibition on employers taking disciplinary action for marijuana use away from the employer’s premises. A written drug testing policy is critical to avoiding liability in Maine.
Important to Note: Maine requires employers to notify employees and applicants of both positive and negative results. It must be in writing if the donor requests a copy.
|Drug Testing Issue||Status||Comments|
|Instant or POCT||Restrictions||Instant testing for pre-employment only. A non-negative result must always be sent to a certified laboratory for confirmation. Follow specific Main Substance Abuse Testing Statute.|
|Drug Panels||No Restrictions|
|Laboratory||Certification Required||By the Maine Department of Health and Human Services|
|Random Testing||Highly Restricted||Only if an approved policy permits random testing; safety-sensitive or over 50 employees|
Intoxication Defense – Denial of Workers Compensation Claim – States vary in their willingness to allow employers to use an injured worker’s intoxication against a compensation claim. State laws’ intoxication defenses generally fall into one of three rough categories: reasons that do not depend on causation; defenses that require some form of proximate causation between intoxication and injury; and defenses that require that intoxication be the sole cause of injury. Always check with your insurance company and your attorney when you have a refusal or positive post-accident test after an injury.
Employers in Maine must use extreme caution when terminating an employee or not hiring an applicant due to a positive drug test for Marijuana. Maine’s recreational marijuana law impacts workplace drug testing.
In Maine, Marijuana is still on the list of what can be tested. Testing is only allowed if a company has a drug testing policy that the Maine Department has approved of Labor (MDOL). The Department cannot provide legal advice, and we encourage employers to consult with private legal counsel regarding the law. Additionally, the recreational law is overseen by the Maine Department of Agriculture, and medical marijuana law is governed by the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, MDOL. Can approve testing based on our law, but we cannot say whether taking disciplinary action or refusing to hire someone will violate their laws, which is why the Department recommends seeking legal guidance before making those decisions.
This chart is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for legal guidance. State and local law vary greatly; therefore, you are advised to consult experienced legal counsel during the design of your actual substance abuse testing program and with any questions that follow.