What You Need to Know about Drug Testing in Georgia

Drug testing in the workplace can be a complicated topic. Here’s everything you need to know about workplace drug testing in Georgia.

Georgia allows employers to drug test their employees and potential employees. Georgia law details all the specific ways in which employers can drug test their employees.

Article 11 Drug-Free Workplace Programs of Chapter 9 Workers’ Compensation of Title 34

The Labor and Industrial Relations of Georgia Code details the state law surrounding workplace drug testing. Employers are responsible for requiring job applicants to take a drug test upon hiring them. Employers are required to test employees if they cause or contribute to a serious injury on the job which results in a lack of work time. An employer must require an employee to take a drug test if they have reasonable suspicion to believe they are abusing substances.

Related: Georgia Minimum Wage FAQs

Marijuana Drug Testing

In Georgia, marijuana is illegal. All drug tests in Georgia include marijuana testing. A drug test will come back as positive for substance abuse if the employee or job applicant has marijuana in their system. As of 2021, New York is the only state prohibiting employers from testing their employees and job applicants for marijuana usage.

Conduct of Testing

Any employer must conduct drug testing that is in conformity with the standards and procedures outlined in Article 11 of Georgia Code.

The State Board of Worker’s Compensation requires all employers to drug test their employees and job applicants when extending a job offer. The State Board of Worker’s Compensation ensures employees do not receive compensation if they are substance abusers. Substance abuse includes the usage of marijuana.

Requirements for Drug Testing

All employers must require job applicants to perform a substance abuse test upon employment. An employer must require an employee to perform a substance abuse test if they have reasonable suspicion the employee is abusing drugs. Upon testing for reasonable suspicion, the employer must write in detail the basis of the suspicion.

An employer must require that all employees perform a substance abuse test if there is routine testing outlined in their workplace policy or an employment classification group. If the employee tests positive for substance abuse and receives rehabilitation through an employee assistance program, the employer must require the employee to perform a follow-up substance abuse test proceeding the rehabilitation program.

Related: Tipped Employee Rights in Georgia

If the employee passes the substance abuse test following the rehabilitation program and returns to work, the employee must perform a substance abuse test at least once a year for two years following the completion of the rehabilitation program.

If an employee has caused or contributed to an injury on the job and that injury required loss of work time, the employee must perform a substance abuse test and urinalysis test. Private employers can require their employees to perform random drug tests.

FAQs About Workplace Drug Testing in Georgia

Who pays for the drug testing?

The employer pays for all required drug testing.

Can an employee ask why they were tested for reasonable suspicion?

Yes, an employee asked to test for reasonable suspicion may ask their employer for documentation of that suspicion. Upon the request, the employer must give the employee the written documentation of their suspicion.

Can an employer require a confirmation test if the test is negative?

Yes, the employer can request a confirmatory test even if the initial test is negative. If the initial test is positive the employer must request a confirmatory test.

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If you or a loved one would like to learn more about Workplace Drug Testing Georgia, get your free consultation with one of our Employment Attorneys in Georgia today!