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Washington Drug Testing Laws and Regulations

State: Washington
Statute of Order: Wash. Rev. Code §49.127.1 et seq., Wash. Admin. Code §356-46-125, §356-05-128
Covered Employers: Private employers seeking to qualify for a 5% workers' comp. premium discount, with approval by state authorities.
Applicant Testing: Applicant testing authorized with advance written notice to applicant and after conditional offer of employment has been made.
Employee Testing: Testing authorized for private employers on 60 days' notice to employees, in cases of workplace accidents, as part of an employee assistance program, on reasonable suspicion of substance abuse, or at random. Employers' written substance abuse policy must be posted and distributed to employees. State agencies can test on reasonable suspicion—stated in writing—for safety-sensitive positions pursuant to a written testing policy.
Conditions & Methods: Testing only by certified laboratory, documentation showing chain of custody, confirming test for positive result, opportunity for employee to explain results, and methods to ensure confidentiality of test findings. First-time positive test result may not be grounds for termination. State agency policy must be approved by collective bargaining representative.
Important Bulletpoints:
  • The medical use of marijuana is regulated in Washington State and may not be accommodated in any place of employment.
  • Holders of commercial driver’s license driving commercial motor vehicles are deemed to have given consent and are therefore subject to mandatory drug and alcohol testing. Law enforcement officers may administer the tests for reasonable cause. Refusal to undergo testing is a basis for disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle.
  • Motor carriers or employers with drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles and are required to have a compliant drug or alcohol testing program must report employees who refused to submit to required testing for the presence of alcohol or controlled substances to law enforcement or the employer’s medical review officer.
  • All medical review officers, who are contracted by motor carriers or employers operating commercial motor vehicles, are required by law to report to the department of licensing a commercial driver’s verified test results found positive for alcohol or controlled substances.
  • Unemployment benefits may be denied of employees who are terminated for misconduct. The law stipulates that alcoholism does not constitute a defense in this case.
  • Medical Marijuana Law: Wash. Rev. Code Ann. Section 69.51A (Supp. 2003)
    Applicability: Law applies to physicians, patients and caregivers.
    Quantity Allowed: No more than a 60-day supply.
    How Obtained: Not specified in statute.
    Liability Protections: Physicians and Patients have an affirmative defense if diagnosed, physician advised use of Medical Marijuana and patient and licensed physician (M.D.) are Washington residents.
    Statutory Requirements for Authorized Use: None, but documentation of use is required.
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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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