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Drug Testing in Minnesota

Filed under Office & HR.

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

Employers in Minnesota may not request or require an employee or job applicant to undergo drug and alcohol testing except as authorized by law. The law requires that testing be conducted by a testing laboratory that is licensed, accredited or certified pursuant to law and that testing not be done on an arbitrary and capricious basis.

Drug Testing Requirements

Before requesting an employee or job applicant to undergo drug or alcohol testing, an employer must provide the employee or job applicant with a form, developed by the employer, on which to acknowledge that the employee or job applicant has seen the employer's drug and alcohol testing policy.

If a job applicant has received a job offer made contingent on the applicant passing drug and alcohol testing, the employer may not withdraw the offer based on a positive test result from an initial screening test that has not been verified by a confirmatory test .

An employer may not discharge, discipline, discriminate against, or request or require rehabilitation of an employee on the basis of a positive test result from an initial screening test that has not been verified by a confirmatory test.

Additionally, an employer may not discharge an employee for whom a positive test result on a confirmatory test was the first such result for the employee on a drug or alcohol test requested by the employer unless the following conditions have been met:

  1. the employer has first given the employee an opportunity to participate in, at the employee's own expense or pursuant to coverage under an employee benefit plan, either a drug or alcohol counseling or rehabilitation program, whichever is more appropriate, as determined by the employer after consultation with a certified chemical use counselor or a physician trained in the diagnosis and treatment of chemical dependency; and
  2. the employee has either refused to participate in the counseling or rehabilitation program or has failed to successfully complete the program, as evidenced by withdrawal from the program before its completion or by a positive test result on a confirmatory test after completion of the program.

Minnesota employers can request or require employees to undergo drug and alcohol testing on a random selection basis only if the employees are employed in safety-sensitive positions or if they are employed as professional athletes subject to a collective bargaining agreement permitting random testing.

An employer may temporarily suspend the tested employee or transfer that employee to another position at the same rate of pay pending the outcome of a confirmatory test and, if requested, a confirmatory retest, provided the employer believes that it is reasonably necessary to protect the health or safety of the employee, co-employees, or the public. An employee who has been suspended without pay must be reinstated with back pay if the outcome of the confirmatory test or requested confirmatory retest is negative.

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