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California - STATE LAWS

Coming Soon, State Laws for Workplace Drug Testing

Regulations for workplace drug testing are very important to maintain an effective and legal drug free workplace program. It is particularly important to pay attention to individual state laws regarding employer drug testing programs. Employers need to be concerned about limiting exposure to liability in a drug testing program.

A good drug testing program will go a long way toward addressing safety, OSHA compliance, ADA Compliance, performance and workers’ comp issues; having the right company policies, education programs and insurance coverage will go the extra step to protect you against potential lawsuits and financial liability. Many states have different laws regarding drug testing, check back to view the guidelines for drug testing in your state.

Workplace Drug Testing Laws in California

Instant or POCT Testing

Allowed with caution

Use trained collectors and send all non-negatives to lab for confirmation

Drug Panels

No Restrictions


Licensing requirements

Licensed laboratories required, SAMHSA certified laboratories highly recommended.

Medical Review Officer (MRO)

Not Required

Highly recommended to reduce exposure to liability.

Random Testing


Restricted to safety sensitive workers.


No Restrictions

Recommend when there is reasonable suspicion

Reasonable Suspicion

No Restrictions

Recommend only when determined by a trained supervisor

Oral Fluids

No Restrictions

Hair Testing

No Restrictions

Unemployment Denial

Yes, address in company policy

Unemployment Insurance Code §1256.4(a)(1) & (2) - State in your drug free workplace policy that a refusal to test or a positive test is misconduct. Terminate employment for misconduct.

Workers Comp Discount


Intoxication Defense


Labor Code §3600(a) & (a)(4); an injury or death arising out of employment is not compensable if caused by the employee's intoxication.

Medical Marijuana


Accommodation of medical marijuana use is not required on the property or premises of any place of employment or during the hours of employment.

Recreational Marijuana


Passed November 2016, the law protects employers who have drug-free workplace policies that prohibit marijuana use by employees.

Report Driver DOT Positives


California requires that MROs, BATs and TPAs report to the California Highway Patrol every positive DOT drug and alcohol (>0.04 BAC) test conducted on a CA CDL holder. The report does not include any individual test identification information. No reporting form has been provided.

General Statute

No general statue but several instances of case law.