US State Laws: Tennessee

NDS Shop Categories

NDS Blog

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.

For the voluntary Tennessee drug free workplace law, instant drug testing or POCT testing is prohibited.

Workplace Drug Testing Laws in Tennessee

Drug Testing IssueStatusComments
Instant or POCT TestingRestrictedDOT like procedures required.
Drug PanelsRestrictedDOT like procedures required. SAMHSA 5 panel drug test unless Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development adds additional drugs.
LaboratoryCertification RequiredCAP or SAMHSA certification.
Medical Review OfficerRequiredRequired for both positive and negative results
Random TestingNo restrictions
Post-AccidentNo restrictions
Reasonable SuspicionNo restrictions
Oral FluidsNo restrictionsNo mention in law
Hair TestingNo restrictionsNo mention in law
Unemployment DenialYesDischarge 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 DiscountYes§50-9-101 - Provides 5 percent discount on premiums to employers who establish a drug-free workplace program.
Intoxication DefenseYesT.C.A. § 50-6-110(c)(1) u2013 no compensation for the employee's intoxication or illegal drug usage.
Medical MarijuanaLimitedLicensed physicians can recommend cannabis oil that contains less than 0.9% THC, but only to treat severe seizure disorders.
Recreational MarijuanaNo
Report Driver DOT PositivesNo
General StatuteTennessee 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