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Drug Testing in Arkansas

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

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

If an Arkansas employer implements a drug-free workplace program that includes required notice, education and procedural requirements for testing for drugs and alcohol, the employer may require an employee to submit to a test for the presence of drugs or alcohol.

If a drug or alcohol is found to be present in the employee's system at a level prescribed by statute or by rule, the employee may be terminated and forfeits eligibility for workers' compensation medical and indemnity benefits.

A drug-free workplace program must require the covered employer to notify all employees that it is a condition of employment for an employee to refrain from reporting to work or working with the presence of drugs or alcohol in the employee's body. If an injured employee refuses to submit to a test for drugs or alcohol, the employee forfeits eligibility for workers' compensation medical and indemnity benefits. In the event of termination, an employee is entitled to contest the test results before the Department of Labor.

Sixty days must elapse between a general one-time notice to all employees that an employer is instituting a drug and alcohol testing program and the effective date of the program. In addition, notice of drug and alcohol testing must be included on vacancy announcements for positions for which drug and alcohol testing is required. Notice of an employer's drug and alcohol testing policy must also be posted in an appropriate and conspicuous location on the covered employer's premises and copies of the policy must be made available for inspection by employees or job applicants during regular business hours in the employer's personnel office or other suitable location.

Employers who implement a drug-free workplace policy will receive a credit against its workers' compensation premium charge.

Employers are prohibited from requiring as a condition of employment or continued employment that an employee or applicant submit to or take a drug test unless the examination is provided at no cost. However, where an employee tests positive for illegal drugs, the employer and the employee may agree in writing as to who will bear the cost of future required drug tests or screens. A copy of the examiner's report of the examination must be furnished to the applicant or employee upon written request.

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