Workplace Drug Testing Issues – Alabama State Laws
These categories do not effect DOT regulated drug testing. Government employers should always call for potential additional restrictions on employee drug testing. Consider marijuana laws before terminating an employee for a positive test for marijuana.
Alabama has a voluntary law that allows for a 5% workers compensation discount. The Alabama Department of Labor Workers’ Compensation Division has adopted administrative rules which address the elements of the drug-free workplace program and the certification process. This chart is based on those rules.
2020 Update – A law passed to make it a criminal offense to use or distribute synthetic urine or urine additives for the purpose of defrauding a drug test. This is an effort to reduce drug test cheating.
Important to Note: Alabama requires an employer to notify employees and applicants in writing of positive results (negative not required unless specifically requested by the individual) within 5 days of receipt of the results from the laboratory.
Workplace Drug Testing Laws in Alabama
|Drug Testing Issue||Status||Comments|
|Instant or POCT Testing||Restrictions||For voluntary program, all initial and confirmation testing must take place in a laboratory.|
|Drug Panels||5 Panel||Voluntary program requires DOT Like|
|Laboratory||SAMHSA Certified||Voluntary program requires DOT Like|
|Medical Review Officer - MRO||Required||Required for both positive and negative results|
|Random Testing||No restrictions||Optional|
|Post-Accident||No restrictions||Voluntary program requires DOT Like|
|Reasonable Suspicion||No restrictions||Voluntary program requires DOT Like|
|Oral Fluids||Restrictions||Voluntary program requires DOT Like|
|Hair Testing||Restrictions||Voluntary program requires DOT Like|
|Unemployment Denial||Yes||Unemployment law and court decisions may result in denial of benefits when fired for a positive drug test.|
|Workers Comp Discount||Yes||There is a 5 percent (5%) workers' compensation insurance premium discount for those employers who establish a drug-free workplace on the job - §25-5-330.|
|Intoxication Defense||Yes||Workers' Compensation intoxication defense to a claim exists, including rebuttable presumption.|
|Report Driver DOT Positives||No|
|General Statute||Alabama does not have a general drug testing law, but it does have a voluntary drug-free workplace law - ARTICLE 13. DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE PROGRAM. The voluntary law does not prohibit private employers from conducting random substance abuse testing or other lawful testing of employees.|
State Law Alabama – ARTICLE 13. DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE PROGRAM.
Employers desiring a Drug-Free Workplace certification pursuant to Alabama Act 95-535 shall submit their request in writing on forms as approved by the Director, to the Department of Industrial Relations, Workers’ Compensation Division, Drug-Free Workplace Certification Program – Application. For the Alabama voluntary drug-free workplace – instant drug testing or POCT testing is prohibited.
Intoxication Defense – Denial of Workers Compensation Claim – 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 refusal or 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 vary 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 Alabama