Drug and Alcohol Testing Laws – 2015: Arizona’s drug and alcohol testing law regulates drug and alcohol testing for job applicants and employees. Although Arizona law does not require employers to implement drug and alcohol testing, it does provide rules for employers who choose to test employees or applicants. Arizona law places additional testing requirements on employers operating taxi or limousine services.
Employers that implement drug and alcohol testing programs must first establish a detailed written policy that is provided to every employee and prospective employee. All testing and disciplinary actions must be carried out within the terms of the written policy. An employer’s written policy must include at least:
- A statement of the employer’s policy regarding drug and alcohol use by employees;
- A description of those employees or prospective employees who are subject to testing;
- The circumstances under which testing may be required;
- A list of the substances that may be tested for;
- A description of the testing methods and collection procedures;
- The consequences of a refusal to participate in the testing;
- Any adverse personnel action that may be taken based on the testing procedure or results;
- The right of an employee, on request, to obtain the written test results;
- The right of an employee, on request, to an explanation of a positive test result in a confidential setting; and
- A statement of the employer’s policy regarding the confidentiality of the test results.
Within the terms of a written policy, an employer may require the collection and testing of samples for any job-related purposes consistent with business necessity, including:
- To maintain productivity, safety, quality or security within the workplace;
- As part of an accident or employee impairment investigation; and
- On reasonable suspicion of drug or alcohol use.
Employers are typically required to cover the expense of drug and alcohol testing, and policies must apply to all employees uniformly. Additionally, Arizona law allows employers to test employees or groups of employees on a random or chance basis.
Arizona’s drug and alcohol testing law requires that employers must ensure that:
- Samples are collected under reasonable and sanitary conditions;
- Samples are labeled in order to prevent the possibility of misidentification;
- The person being tested is provided the opportunity to disclose relevant information, including identification of currently or recently used prescription or nonprescription drugs or other relevant medical information;
- Sample collection, storage and transportation is performed in a manner designed to prevent contamination, adulteration or misidentification;
- Sample testing complies with scientifically accepted analytical methods and procedures. Drug testing must be conducted at a laboratory approved or certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the College of American Pathologists or the Department of Health Services; and
- Drug testing includes confirmation of any positive drug test results for employees. Confirmation tests must use a different chemical process than was used in the initial drug screen.
Arizona employers may use positive drug or alcohol impairment test results or refusal to take a test as a basis for disciplinary or rehabilitative actions, including:
- A requirement that the employee enroll in an employer-provided or -approved rehabilitation, treatment or counseling program;
- Suspension of the employee for a designated period of time;
- Termination of employment; and
- Refusal to hire a prospective employee.
collective bargaining agreements
Arizona’s drug and alcohol testing law makes an exception for collective bargaining agreements. In Arizona, if a provision of a collective bargaining agreement conflicts with the terms of Arizona’s drug and alcohol testing law, the terms of the collective bargaining agreement supersede state drug and alcohol testing law.
Employer protections from litigation
Employers that institute drug and/or alcohol testing programs that meet Arizona requirements are generally protected from litigation related to such testing. According to Arizona law, no cause of action may be established against an employer who has established a program of drug or alcohol testing, unless the employer:
- Took action that was based on a false positive test result;
- Knew or clearly should have known that the result was in error; and
- Ignored the true test result because of reckless or malicious disregard for the truth or willful intent to deceive.
Under limited circumstances, employers may be liable for defamation of character, libel, slander or damage to character.
livery vehicles, taxis and limousines
Arizona law provides additional drug testing requirements for operators of livery vehicles, taxis and limousines. Employers operating such services are required to perform pre-employment drug tests for any prospective driver. Once employed, employers must perform random drug tests on all drivers on an annual basis. Employers must maintain drug testing records for all drivers, which the state can request to inspect at any time.
Other Drug Testing Laws
In addition to state law, transportation employees in Arizona, such as drivers of commercial motor vehicles, must comply with federal law. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) drug and alcohol testing regulations govern workplace drug testing for these employees. For more information on the FMCSA’s alcohol and drug testing regulations, visit the FMCSA website.