Workplace Drug Testing Issues – Alaska State Laws
These categories do not effect DOT-regulated drug testing. Government employers should always call for potential additional restrictions on employee drug testing.
Alaska employers may test job applicants for any job-related purpose, consistent with business necessity and the terms of the employer’s policy. See: Alaska Statutes Title 23. Labor and Workers’ Compensation § 23.10.620. Employer policy
Workplace Drug Testing Laws in Alaska
|Drug Testing Issue||Status||Comments|
|Instant or POCT Testing||Not Allowed||All initial and confirmation testing must take place in a laboratory.|
|Drug Panels||No Restrictions|
|Laboratory||Certification Required||CAP or SAMHSA t|
|Medical Review Officer||Required|
|Random Testing t||Possible Restrictions||Case law may limit random testing to safety-sensitive employees.|
|Reasonable Suspicion||No Restrictions|
|Oral Fluids||Restrictions||Voluntary law does not allow oral fluids.|
|Hair Testing||No Restrictions|
|Unemployment Denial t||Yes||SAMHSA Lab Required. Address in company policy employee is disqualified from receiving benefits if he or she was discharged for misconduct.|
|Workers Comp Discount||No|
|Intoxication Defense||Yes||Alaska Statute 23.30.235 - Cases in Which No Compensation is Payable: proximately caused by intoxication of the injured employee or proximately caused by the employee being under the influence of drugs unless the drugs were taken as prescribed by the employee's physician.|
|Medical Marijuana||Yes||Alaska Statute. 17.37.040(d) - Nothing in this chapter requires any accommodation of any medical use of marijuana (1)u2002in any place of employment;|
|Recreational Marijuana||Yes||Recommend drug testing for marijuana only with a strong written drug free workplace policy. The law does not require an employer to permit or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale, or growing of marijuana in the workplace or to affect the ability of employers to have policies restricting the use of marijuana by employees. See 5 steps below.|
|Report Driver DOT Positives||No|
|General Statutet||Voluntary law provides for limited legal protections - § 23.10.620.|
Voluntary law provides for limited legal protections - § 23.10.620.
Medical Marijuana – Alaska Statute. 17.37.040(d)
Intoxication Defense - Alaska Statute 23.30.235.
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 positive post-accident test after an injury.
In Alaska take these five steps to protect your business:
- Determine strategically how to treat marijuana.
- Develop new policies if none exist or update existing policies.
- Consider implementing a drug testing program, if you have not already done so. Be sure it complies with Alaska’s Safe Harbor Statute.
- Provide any changes in policy or new policy to employees.
- Decide how you will treat a breach of your policies or a confirmed positive test.
Policy Statement Example:
Company considers employee use of marijuana for medical and/or recreational purposes to be potential health, safety, and security problem. To ensure the maintenance of safety, productivity, the quality of services, and the security of property, Company maintains a zero-tolerance policy for all employees, including but not limited to employees in “safety sensitive” positions.
This chart is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for legal guidance. State and local laws 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 Alaska