Georgia employment drug testing laws are voluntary, meaning employers may choose to implement a drug-testing policy and receive a 7.5% discount on workers’ compensation premiums. In order to receive this discount, employers must comply with the regulations disclosed in the Georgia statutes. These regulations protect employees and applicants from any misconduct during the collection and testing process, and help protect employers from any possible liabilities. Drug tests can only be performed once a policy has been provided in writing to prospective and current employees outlining the terms of an employer’s drug-testing program. Positive drug tests may result in the rejection of a job applicant or, in the case of a current employee, mandatory rehabilitation or termination.
Can Current Employees be Tested? Yes, employees can be tested if one of the following circumstances occurs:
- reasonable suspicion
- routine fitness-for-duty medical examination (for certain job positions with an established policy)
- upon return from an EAP or rehabilitation program
- injury or accident in the workplace in which an employee was responsible
- random testing
Is Certified Testing Required? Yes.
Laws – § 34-9-(410-421)
What Can be Tested? Tissue, blood, urine, or other product of the human body capable of detecting the presence of drugs.
How to Conduct a Legal Drug Test
Step 1 – Georgia employers who comply with the State drug-testing laws are required to provide a written policy to applicants and current employees. This policy is itself a document that implies applicant/employee consent. With that in mind, a Drug Test Release Form may not be required. Some employers, particularly those who do have not implemented a drug-free workplace program, might still use a Drug Test Release Form to ensure the individuals being tested have given consent.
Step 2 – The collecting of samples must be performed by a qualified individual in accordance with § 34-9-415(5) and they will be authorized to procure the following specimens for testing:
- Oral fluid
- Other specimens of the human body capable of revealing the presence of drugs/alcohol
Step 3 – Testing may only occur at laboratories certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) or the College of American Pathologists (CAP). A list of certified labs can be found on the SAMHSA website.
Step 4 – The laboratory must share the results within seven (7) working days after receiving the sample. Positive results from an employee drug test require a confirmation drug test. If the test is confirmed positive, an employee has five (5) working days to explain or contest the results.