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Tennessee - STATE LAWS

Workplace drug testing issues – State Laws – Tennessee

These categories do not effect DOT regulated drug testing. Government employers should always call for potential additional restrictions on employee drug testing.

This chart is based on the provisions of the Tennessee voluntary law for a Drug Free Workplace - T.C.A. 50-6-418, 50-9-100 et. seq., and 50-6-110.

Workplace Drug Testing Laws in Tennessee

Instant or POCT Testing

Restricted

DOT like procedures required.

Drug Panels

Restricted

DOT like procedures required. SAMHSA 5 panel drug test unless Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development adds additional drugs.

Laboratory

Certification Required

CAP or SAMHSA certification.

Medical Review Officer

Required

Required for both positive and negative results

Random Testing

No restrictions

Post-Accident

No restrictions

Reasonable Suspicion

No restrictions

Oral Fluids

No restrictions

No mention in law

Hair Testing

No restrictions

No mention in law

Unemployment Denial

Yes

Discharge or discipline of an employee, or refusing to hire a job applicant, who is found to be in violation of the covered employer’s Drug-Free Workplace Program will be considered done for cause.

Workers Comp Discount

Yes

§50-9-101 - Provides 5 percent discount on premiums to employers who establish a drug-free workplace program.

Intoxication Defense

Yes

T.C.A. § 50-6-110(c)(1) – no compensation for the employee’s intoxication or illegal drug usage.

Medical Marijuana

Limited

Licensed physicians can recommend cannabis oil that contains less than 0.9% THC, but only to treat severe seizure disorders.

Recreational Marijuana

No

Report Driver DOT Positives

No

General Statute

Tennessee has a drug free workplace program T.C.A. Section 50-9-101. Drug and alcohol abuse is discouraged and that employees who choose to engage in drug or alcohol abuse face the risk of unemployment and the forfeiture of worker’s compensation benefits.

Tennessee Drug Free Workplace employers Program Development and Implementation Guide

Intoxication Defense – Denial of Workers Compensation Claim – In Tennessee If an employee is injured at work and later fails a post-accident drug/alcohol test, it is presumed that the drugs or alcohol were the proximate cause of the injury.  Workers’ Compensation benefits can be denied until the injured employee overcomes that presumption. Legislation was passed in 2011 that increased the standard of proof required by an injured worker to overcome the presumption from a preponderance of evidence to clear and convincing evidence.  This change makes it even more difficult for employees impaired by alcohol or other drugs, while at work, to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.

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 Tennessee

§50-9-101