Workplace Drug Testing Issues – Massachusetts State Laws
These categories do not affect DOT-regulated drug testing. Government employers should always call for potential additional restrictions on employee drug testing.
Deny Unemployment claims – Chapter 151A Section 25
|Drug Testing Issue||Status||Comments|
|Instant or POCT Testing||No restrictions|
|Drug Panels||No restrictions|
|Random Testing||Restricted||Limit to safety-sensitive or security-sensitive position.|
|Post-Accident||Restrictions||Massachusetts employers should only conduct post-accident drug testing when they believe the individual caused or contributed to the accident.|
Regarding medical marijuana, Massachusetts is a state with explicit employee protection:
- there is nothing in this law that requires any accommodation of any on-site medical use of marijuana in any place of employment; (law silent on off-duty use)
- no punishment under state law for qualifying patients;” provides “protection from state prosecution and penalties
- any person meeting the requirements under this law shall not be penalized under Massachusetts law in any manner or denied any right or privilege for such actions
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 attorney when you have a positive post-accident test after an injury.
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.