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Drug Testing in Alabama

Filed under Hiring Workers. Fact checked on May 25, 2012.

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Drug testing by employers in Alabama is governed by these state rules.

Employers may elect to have a drug-free workplace program, although the programs are not mandatory. Doing so may qualify the employer for a discount on workers' compensation insurance.

Employer's policies can include testing of:

  • all job applicants
  • all applicants for certain classes of jobs
  • random drug testing
  • testing upon reasonable suspicion
  • testing as part of routine medical examinations
  • testing as a follow-up to employee assistance programs unless the employee voluntarily entered the program

If the employer has a program and an employee has caused or contributed to an on-the-job injury that resulted in a loss of work time, the employer must require the employee to submit to a substance abuse test.

Prior to testing, all employees and job applicants for employment must be given a onetime notice of testing. In addition, all employees must be given a written policy statement from the employer .

An employer not having a substance abuse testing program in effect on July 1, 1996, must ensure that at least 60 days elapse between a general one-time notice to all employees that a substance abuse testing program is being implemented and the beginning of the actual testing. An employer having a substance abuse testing program in place prior to July 1, 1996, will not be required to provide a 60-day notice period .

Requirements for Drug Testing

A drug-free workplace program must contain all the following elements:

  • a written policy statement;
  • substance abuse testing;
  • resources of employee assistance providers;
  • employee education; and
  • supervisor training.

All testing conducted by an employer must be in conformity with the standards and procedures established in Alabama's drug-free workplace program law and all applicable rules adopted by the State Department of Industrial Relations, including confidentiality standards.

Hair sample drug testing is permitted if done in accordance with the state's guidelines for hair specimen collection. Hair testing drug policies must apply to all similarly situated applicants or employees regardless of position or classification. Additional testing is allowed on some but not all similarly situated employees if an employer has a rational basis for doing so.

An employer must include notice of substance abuse testing on vacancy announcements for those positions for which testing is required.

A notice of the employer's substance abuse testing policy must also be posted in an appropriate and conspicuous location on the employer's premises.

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