Workplace Drug Testing Issues – New York State Laws
These categories do not affect DOT-regulated drug testing. Government employers should always call for potential additional restrictions on employee drug testing.
2021 Update – Recreational marijuana is now legal.
New York City has proposed a law prohibiting employers from conducting THC (marijuana) pre-employment drug testing. The law goes into effect May 9.2020. There are exemptions, including DOT testing and safety-sensitive positions.
2020 Update – Regardless of CDL license status – for-hire drivers are transporting ten or more people at a time to submit to mandatory pre-employment drug testing. This testing should comply with DOT regulations 49 CFR Part 40.
Workplace Drug Testing Laws in New York
|Drug Testing Issue||Status||Comments|
|Instant or POCT Testing||Restricted||According to the NYS Department of Health, on-site testing facilities are subject to regulation under the state’s clinical laboratory licensing law. Neither LabCorp nor Quest Diagnostics perform instant drug testing at their drug testing centers in New York State.|
|Drug Panels||No restrictions|
|Laboratory||Licensing requirements||SAMHSA-certified laboratories are highly recommended.|
|Medical Review Officer (MRO)||Required||Drug testing results must be reported to an MRO before they can be released to the employer.|
|Random Testing, Reasonable Suspicion Testing||No Restrictions|
Workers Comp Discount – Code Rule 60
Intoxication Defense – 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.