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Ohio State Drug Testing Laws

Workplace drug testing issues – State Laws – Ohio

These categories do not affect DOT-regulated drug testing. Government employers should always call for potential additional restrictions on employee drug testing.

Workers’ compensation insurance discounts apply in Ohio with a voluntary program. This chart reflects the requirements of the voluntary program –Ohio BWC Drug-Free Safety Program (DFSP)

For the voluntary Ohio drug-free workplace law, instant drug testing or POCT testing is prohibited.

Workplace Drug Testing Laws in Ohio

Drug Testing IssueStatusComments
Instant or POCT TestingRestrictedIt is not allowed for the voluntary drug testing law.
Drug PanelsRestrictedSAMHSA 5 panel plus other allowed: prescription medications such as oxycodone (expanded opiates test), barbiturates, benzodiazepines, methadone, and propoxyphene.
LaboratoryRestrictionsMust use SAMHSA certified laboratory
Medical Review Officer (MRO)RequiredRequired for both positive and negative results
Random TestingNo RestrictionsRequired for the advanced level program, extra savings on worker comp insurance
Post-AccidentNo RestrictionsFolllow the Ohio Drug-Free Safety Program Guide
Reasonable SuspicionNo Restrictions 
Oral Fluid Testing and Hair Follicle TestingRestrictedIt is not allowed for the voluntary drug testing law.
Unemployment DenialYesOhio Code 4141.29 – Eligibility for benefits. Terminate for misconduct.
Workers Comp DiscountYesOhio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has the Drug-Free Safety Program (DFSP) – an introductory level program with a 4% discount and an advanced level program with a 7% discount.
Intoxication DefenseYesOhio Code 4123.54 – Rebuttable Presumption for Intoxication; use of controlled substances.
Medical MarijuanaYes, limited lawProhibits smoking, Employers have the right to establish and enforce zero-tolerance drug testing policies. The law does not give employees the right to sue the employer for taking action related to the use of medical marijuana.
Recreational MarijuanaNo 
Report Driver DOT PositivesNoThe Ohio BWC Drug-Free Safety Program (DFSP) offers a premium rebate to eligible employers to implement a loss-prevention strategy addressing workplace use and misuse of alcohol and other drugs, especially illegal drugs.

Ohio Drug-Free Safety Program Guide

Unemployment Denial – Ohio Code 4141.29

Intoxication Defense – Ohio Code 4123.54

Intoxication Defense – Denial of Workers Compensation Claim – Ohio Revised Code Section 4123.54 provides that if at the time of an on-the-job injury, an employee is intoxicated or under the influence of a controlled substance not prescribed by a physician, an injury can be declared to be not compensable. Ohio employers must follow the requirements of the voluntary program.

Marijuana – Ohio has a medical marijuana law. This does not mean that employers in Ohio cannot drug test or drug test for marijuana. Employers are not limited in any employment actions based on an employee’s medical marijuana use. A person who is discharged from employment because of that person’s use of medical marijuana should be considered to have been terminated for just cause for purposes of [unemployment] if the person’s use of medical marijuana violated an employer’s drug-free workplace policy, zero-tolerance policy, or other formal program or policy regulating the use of medical marijuana.

Nothing in the Ohio medical marijuana law prohibits an employer from establishing and enforcing a drug testing policy, drug-free workplace policy, or zero-tolerance drug policy. In fact, in Ohio, the drug-free workplace program is strongly encouraged by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Qualifying employers can receive discounts on workers’ compensation insurance when implementing a comprehensive drug-free workplace program.

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.

View Individual State Law Summaries

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