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Drug Testing in South Carolina

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

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Drug testing by employers in South Carolina is governed by these state rules.

In South Carolina, an employer may establish a drug prevention program in the workplace pursuant to the provision establishing merit rating for workers' compensation insurance that provides a credit for an insured that has a substance abuse prevention program.

The program should include:

  • a substance abuse policy statement that balances the employer's respect for individuals with the need to maintain a safe, productive and drug-free environment (the intent of the policy is to help those who need it while sending a clear message that the illegal use of nonprescription controlled substances or the abuse of alcoholic beverages is incompatible with employment at the specified workplace); and
  • notification to all employees of the drug prevention program and its policies at the time the program is established by the employer or at the time of hiring the employee, whichever is earlier.

The state also has a drug-free workplace law that applies to state contractors.

Drug Testing Requirements

The testing procedure established by the insurer, employer or his designee, or approved by the director, must include a provision for random sampling of all persons who receive wages and compensation in any form from the employer and must provide for a second test to be administered within 30 minutes of the administration of the first test. Positive test results must be provided in writing to the employee within 24 hours of the time the employer receives the test results. Each employer must keep records of each test for up to one year.

All information, interviews, reports, statements, memos and test results, written or otherwise, received by the employer through a substance abuse testing program are confidential communications, but may be used or received in evidence, obtained in discovery or disclosed in any civil or administrative proceeding.

Insured employees who are discharged for cause are ineligible for workers' compensation benefits if the employer communicated a policy prohibiting the illegal use of drugs, the violation of which may result in termination, and the employee violates that policy.

The employee violates the employer's policy if the employee fails to provide a specimen upon request from the employer or otherwise fails or refuses to cooperate by providing an adulterated specimen, or the worker provides a specimen of blood, hair or urine during a drug test administered on behalf of the employer, which tests positive for illegal drugs or legal drugs used unlawfully without a prescription.

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