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New York Drug Testing Laws and Regulations

State: New York
Statute of Order: Currently Not Available
Covered Employers: Currently Not Available
Applicant Testing: Currently Not Available
Employee Testing: Currently Not Available
Conditions & Methods: Currently Not Available
Important Bulletpoints:
  • While the general provisions of the law on Labor penalizes employers who require applicants and employees to pay for the costs of any medical examination required by the employer as a condition for employment, there exists a categorical statement in the New York City Administrative Code that drug tests are not to be considered as a type of medical test.
  • Alcoholism and drug abuse are considered diseases as far as New York jurisprudence is concerned. The current illegal use of drugs by employees is outlawed and is a basis for termination. However, persons who have recovered or are recovering from alcoholic or drug addiction are protected by the law and must be allowed reasonable accommodation which may include adjustments to work schedule to allow ongoing treatment.
  • Employers who know of an employee’s current illegal use of drugs are encouraged to offer a leave of absence to the employee with a required attendance at a rehabilitation program and a last chance agreement upon return. If the employee refuses the offer, disciplinary action or termination is authorized.
  • Drug testing of school system drivers is mandatory in New York which may include pre-employment, random, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, and return to duty drug testing. Only certified laboratories may conduct the initial and confirmatory tests and a validation by a medical review officer is required.
  • New York Drug Testing Law:

    There are many New York employers who demand drug testing for their employees and applicants. Under the Federal and state drug-free work place program, this demand or requirement is legal. A New York drug test is also a requisite in athletic departments to ensure that athletes are not under-abusing the use of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs.

    Drug testing in New York for those working as drivers in the school system and public transportation is required each year to keep their license valid. Mandatory New York drug testing may be conducted before employment, as routine procedure, at random, based on reasonable suspicion, post accident, post treatment or rehabilitation and upon return to work/duty drug testing. Radom New York drug testing should be unannounced and non-routine testing applied indiscriminately to some and not every employees in the work place.

    Note that even if there are no explicit New York drug testing laws, alcohol testing and random drug testing of those working as law enforcers and correction officers are mandatory.

    Though employers are required to pay for their employee’s medical tests, drug testing in New York is not considered a medical test. However, this does not mean that drug abuse (and/or dependency) and alcoholism are not considered as diseases in the state of New York. Drug abuse by employees is illegal and could be a strong basis for termination. Drug abuse in the workplace could results to employees’ absenteeism, tardiness, poor work performance, theft and crime in the workplace and more. A survey indicated that drug abuse in the workplace cost the business community from $75 to $100 billion dollars annually in accidents, lost time, and workers ’ compensation and health care.

    Employee’s Rights Under New York Drug Testing Law:

    Though the use of illegal drugs is outlawed in New York, employees who are recovering addicts or alcoholics are basically protected by the law, requiring employers to accommodate such employees in aspects such as adjusting the particular employee’s work schedule to facilitate his current treatment. However, an employer has the right to terminate an employee if he refuses to undergo a drug rehabilitation program.

    New York drug testing must be done by a refutable drug testing laboratory. Drug testing in New York could involve blood tests, urine tests, hair and saliva tests, breath analyzers and sweat patches. An employee who tested positive for a drug test could request for a retest from a laboratory of his choice. New York courts deem it unconstitutional and discriminatory to reject a potential employee based solely on a positive drug test. The employer must be able to demonstrate that the potential employee’s substance abuse will prevent him from doing his job. Note that the use of controlled drugs legally prescribed by a medical doctor is not considered “illegal”.

    What Employers Should Do Regarding New York Drug Testing :
    • The employer should have a written policy posted and distributed to and acknowledged/signed by all employees
    • The employer should provide a 60-day notice to all employees before any drug testing is implemented
    • The employer should ensure prompt and confidential test results
    • Make provision for employees to refute positive results
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    Material on these pages (state drug testing laws and drug testing regulations) is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, medical or technical advice. This drug testing related information is not intended as substitute for obtaining legal advice from attorney, or a relevant medical technical or financial professional. TestCountry is not a law firm or a legal agency, therefore cannot guarantee the accuracy of this content. Drug testing laws are collected from legal and/or state sources, and it may or may not be valid by the time you are viewing it. Any views or opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Confirm Biosciences Inc. DBA TestCountry.

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