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State Spotlight: Florida Laws on Workplace Drug Testing

29 Nov 2016

The federal government requires drug screening in certain safety-sensitive industries like the Department of Transportation and Department of Defense. But if you live in Florida and are looking for a job outside of these industries, you’ll have to abide by the state’s drug screening policies. The procedures outlined below are designed to protect employee rights and maintain the integrity of a drug-free workplace.  

Florida Job Applicants
If a Florida employer has a Drug-Free Workplace program, they must specify this on their now hiring advertisements or announcements. Once an applicant is given a conditional offer for employment, they’ll usually be given about 7 days to schedule a test.

Florida Employees
A Florida employer can test an employee in any of the following circumstances:

  • Reasonable suspicion, which includes erratic behavior, report of drug use or noticeable irregular habits for that particular employee.
  • An employee can be tested as part of a routinely scheduled fit-for-duty examination if it is previously specified.
  • An employee also must be tested after they return to work from any kind of rehabilitation. However, if that subject entered rehab voluntarily and not because of a positive test, they can not be automatically screened.  

Legal Claims
An employee can challenge the results of a drug test in Florida if:

  • The drug testing requirement was not specified in the pre-employment phase.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers to accept positive tests if the subject is legally prescribed the medication for their disability. For example, if someone with a severe back injury is taking prescription opiates, that would come up positive on a test but the results would have to be neglected by law. (This policy does not apply to safety-sensitive employees)
  • An employer can not single out specific groups for testing. Random screening must be truly random.
  • Unless a direct observation procedure is required, an employer does not have the right to observe the employee while they provide a sample.  

Florida’s Medical Marijuana Policy
While medical marijuana is legal in the state of Florida, it is not permitted for safety-sensitive employees. It is still listed in the Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act and an MRO can not ignore the results of a positive test because of a medical marijuana prescription.  

At National Drug Screening, we provide a number of different drug testing services all across the United States. For expert consultation on drug free workplace policy or Florida Laws on Drug Testing, call Joe Reilly at National Drug Screening at 321.622.2020.