Workplace Drug Testing Issues – New Jersey State Laws
These categories do not effect DOT-regulated drug testing. Government employers should always call for potential additional restrictions on employee drug testing.
Important to review the New Jersey marijuana laws.
New Jersey employers should only conduct post-accident drug testing only when they believe the individual caused or contributed to the accident.
March 2019 – a disabled employee may sue his former employer under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”) for alleged discrimination based on the employee’s use of medical marijuana. Wild v. Carriage Funeral Holdings, Inc., et al., Docket No. A-3072-17T3 (N.J. App. Div. Mar. 27, 2019).
February 2021 – Legislation signed into law on February 22, 2021 – Marijuana is now legal in New Jersey
Workplace Drug Testing Laws in New Jersey
|Drug Testing Issue||Status||Comments|
|Instant or POCT Testing||Restricted||Testing location may need to be licensed through the state as a laboratory. Both Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp perform instant testing at their drug testing centers.|
|Drug Panels||No restrictions|
|Laboratory||Licensing required||SAMHSA certification recommended|
|Medical Review Officer||Not required||Highly recommended|
|Random Testing||Restricted||Safety sensitive employees when a legitimate business necessity exists.|
|Post-Accident||Limited||Drug testing policies should limit post-incident testing to situations in which there is reasonable suspicion of employee drug or alcohol use.|
|Reasonable Suspicion||Permitted||Document reasonable suspicion|
|Oral Fluids||No restrictions|
|Hair Testing||No restrictions|
|Unemployment Denial||Yes||Must have a DFW policy|
|Workers Comp Discount||No|
|Intoxication Defense||Yes||The defense of willful misconduct or negligence.|
|Medical Marijuana||Yes||Senate Bill 119 (48-14 H; 25-13 S), no requirement for an employer to accommodate the medical use of marijuana in any workplace|
|Recreational Marijuana||YES||The laws signed 02/22/2021 allow the possession and use of marijuana by anyone over 21 years old within the state of New Jersey.|
|Report Driver DOT Positives||No|
|General Statute||The rules in New Jersey do not derive from a statute specifically directed at limiting workplace drug testing. No such statute exists in New Jersey. Instead New Jersey rules stem from related court decisions.|
Based on case law, a comprehensive written drug-free workplace policy is critically important.
Intoxication Defense – Denial of Workers Compensation Claim – The proof necessary to establish that the intoxication is the sole and proximate cause of the injury makes the defense extremely somewhat hard to establish. The same standard applies to alcohol intoxication and/or illegal drug use. What is important is that everything is documented including witness statements.
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 development or edit of your actual substance abuse testing program and with any questions that follow.
State Law New Jersey