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Workplace Drug Testing Issues – New York State Laws

These categories do no effect DOT-regulated drug testing. Government employers should always call for potential additional restrictions on employee drug testing.

New York City has proposed a law to prohibit employers from conducting pre-employment drug testing for marijuana. The law is expected to be signed by the mayor and will take effect one year later. There are exemptions including DOT testing.

Workplace Drug Testing Laws in New York

Instant or POCT Testing


On-site testing facilities are subject to regulation under the state’s clinical laboratory licensing law per the NYS Department of Health. Neither LabCorp nor Quest Diagnostics perform instant drug testing at their drug testing centers in New York State.

Drug Panels

No restrictions


Licensing requirements

SAMHSA certified laboratories highly recommended.

Medical Review Officer (MRO)


Drug testing results must be reported to an MRO before they can be released to the employer.

Random Testing, Reasonable Suspicion Testing

No Restrictions

Post-Accident Testing

No restrictions

Follow a “reasonable basis” for requiring a post-accident drug test.

Oral Fluid Testing and Hair Testing

No restrictions

Laboratories must be licensed.

Unemployment Denial

Yes, address in company policy

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

Yes, discount available

Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program requirements for Code Rule 60. Separate credits are provided for safety, return or work, and drug and alcohol prevention. Maximum credits of 10% the first year and 6% thereafter

Intoxication Defense

Yes, denial of claim available

Provisions for Workers' Compensation Denial - Workers' Compensation Law §10 and §21

Medical Marijuana


Medical Marijuana Law (AB 6357) prohibits smoking marijuana. Employers may enforce policy of prohibiting employee from performing employment duties while impaired by controlled substance

Recreational Marijuana


Report Driver DOT Positives


General Statute

None, however Code Rule 60 is a voluntary program that permits employers to put certain safety-related programs in place that qualify them for workers’ compensation credits.

Medical Marijuana - Medical Marijuana Law (AB 6357)

Workers Comp Discount - Code Rule 60

Intoxication Defense - States vary in their willingness to allow employers to use an injured worker's intoxication as a defense against a claim for compensation.  State laws' intoxication defenses generally fall into one of three rough categories: defenses that do not depend on causation; defenses that require some form of proximate causation between intoxication and injury; and defenses that require that intoxication be the sole cause of injury.  Always check with your insurance company and your attorney when you have a positive post-accident test after an injury.

This chart is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for legal guidance. State and local law varies 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.

State Law New York