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Latest Update: Marijuana is legal in Arizona but employers can still maintain a drug free workplace and test for marijuana. Terminating an employee for a marijuana positive test only; is not a good idea. The employer should be able to establish a a “good faith basis” that the individual was impaired at work.
Individuals needing a drug test can call National Drug Screening for immediate service and a drug test arranged the same day. We can help you today to get your drug test for court-ordered programs, employment, or other personal reasons. All drug testing is completely confidential and can be ordered online or by phone.
Arizona employers may (but don’t have to) require applicants to take a drug test as a condition of employment. The employer must inform applicants if drug testing will be required, however, an employer may refuse to hire an employee who will not submit to a drug test. Arizona law also specifies the procedures the employer must use for gathering specimens, testing, and maintaining confidentiality. If an employee tests positive, that result must be confirmed by a second test using a different chemical process than the initial screen.
Arizona employers are allowed, but not required, to drug test employees. Testing is allowed for any job-related purpose consistent with business necessity, including:
- To maintain productivity, safety, quality, or security
- As part of an accident investigation or an investigation of possible employee impairment, or
- On reasonable suspicion of drug use.
In addition, employers may conduct random drug testing. Generally speaking, in Arizona, random drug testing by a private non-unionized employer is permissible regardless of the existence of a policy. Testing by a public employer is limited by constitutional protections such as privacy rights, due process rights, and search-and-seizure protections. Employees naturally can view random drug testing as a wrongful invasion of privacy.
Under Arizona law, however, random testing would not be an invasion of privacy if the employer uses reasonable methods for specimen collection, such as a clean, secure environment, and strictly limits the disclosure of test results. In fact, Arizona law offers various legal incentives to employers who conduct testing, as long as they follow certain statutory protocols. Those protocols are designed to promote the integrity and accuracy of the testing process and they include advance written notice to workers of the possibility of testing, but those protocols are voluntary.
Employers in Arizona are not required to follow them. It’s reasonable for the worker to be concerned about the fact that the employer did not mention testing before now. Certainly, it would be good management to have a written policy in place and give everyone clear advance notice before actually conducting any testing. However, an employer is not legally obligated to have a written policy or give anyone advance notice. And under Arizona law, workers who are employed at will are subject to discipline or termination if they refuse to undergo testing, even without advance notice.
It can be important to distinguish between what might seem fair and what is legal. Some people might think it’s unfair to require a drug test without advance notice, but in Arizona, it’s legal. Since property damage or personal injury may result from accidents, testing following an accident can help determine whether drugs and/or alcohol were a factor. If the employee tests positive after a workplace accident; the liability shifts to the employee. Employers and worker’s compensation insurers can deny the worker’s comp claim when the employee tests positive after an accident. This can provide huge financial savings. The post-accident drug and/or alcohol test is the most important drug test an employer will conduct. Drug and alcohol use is a workers’ compensation issue.
Did you know that in 49 states (not Arizona) you could defeat a workers’ compensation claim if the employee was intoxicated and that intoxication contributed to the cause of the accident? You are saying to yourself: “I’ve been told it can’t be done.” Who told you that? Why did they tell you that? Recently when an employer in Iowa wanted to challenge a $1.5 million workers’ compensation claim he was told that it couldn’t be done. Yet, they did it! That employer was self-insured to $350,000. Paying this claim would have put them out of business! It was stopped because the drug testing compliance experts and attorneys did their homework and discovered that the Iowa supreme court had, just months earlier, affirmed the denial of benefits to a claimant that was positive for alcohol at 0.09. The claimant in the recent Iowa case was positive for cocaine and alcohol at 0.287! It can be done with the right drug-free workplace program!
Onsite, instant, or rapid drug testing in Arizona may be legal; this is also often referred to as a point of collection testing. Arizona statute clearly states that drug testing must take place at a laboratory, it also contains this phrase “Nothing in this article shall be construed to encourage, discourage, restrict, limit, prohibit or require on-site drug testing or alcohol impairment testing.” (23-493.04 e)
Effective in May of 2011, employers in Arizona now have more protection in their drug testing policies when dealing with employees who use marijuana for medical purposes. House Bill 2541 was signed into law and provides clarification to Arizona’s medical marijuana law. Under the provisions of the new legislation, which began retroactively on April 12, 2011, employers now have greater latitude in taking action against employees who are believed to be impaired at work due to prescribed, illegal, or synthetic drug use.
Employers are prohibited from taking adverse actions based on an employee’s or applicant’s status as a cardholder authorized to use medical marijuana, or a qualifying patient’s positive drug test, unless the qualifying patient used, possessed, or was “impaired” by marijuana while at work or during work hours. Additionally, an employer may penalize a cardholder if failure to do so would cause the employer to lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit under federal law or regulations. With this new law, employers have clearer legislative direction on how they can ensure a safe workplace when their employees are lawful medical marijuana users. National Drug Screening recommends that employers seek legal counsel to ensure that their drug-free workplace policies and drug testing policies are in compliance with existing laws before taking any adverse employment action against an employee who is suspected of drug use.
Drug testing in Arizona for employers call now: 866-843-4545
Drug testing in Arizona for individuals for immediate testing, call now: 866-843-4545
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