The Kentucky employment drug testing law states that employers who choose to establish a drug-free workplace policy will receive a workers’ compensation premium discount. In order to receive this discount, employers must adhere to the requirements and restrictions laid out in the Certification of drug-free workplace (803 KAR 25:280). All employers are encouraged to implement this type of program to promote safety and security for all employees as well as the customers/clients of a company. Job applicants can only be tested once a conditional job offer has been issued. Employees and applicants should be provided with materials covering substance abuse education and awareness, as well as notice explaining the drug-free workplace policies and procedures.

Can Current Employees be Tested? Yes, there are few restrictions on when an employee can be tested. The following types of testing are permitted under administrative regulation:

  • reasonable suspicion
  • post-accident in the workplace
  • follow-up (after rehabilitation or drug-abuse program)
  • random

Is Certified Testing Required? Yes.

Laws 803 KAR 25:280 (Department of Labor – Certification of drug-free workplace); KRS § 304.13-167 (Credit for drug-free workplace program)

What Can be Tested? Urine (drugs) and breath (alcohol).

How to Conduct a Legal Drug Test

Step 1 – Although it is not specifically mentioned in Kentucky law, employers may choose to have employees/applicants submit a Drug Test Release Form before conducting any tests.

Step 2– Sample collection must follow the procedures and protocols set forth by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). This includes collecting samples under reasonable and sanitary conditions, and keeping the employee’s/applicant’s privacy in mind.

Step 3 – Testing must occur at a qualified laboratory; that is, certified in accordance with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the DHHS. A list of certified laboratories can be found on the SAMHSA website.

Step 4 – All positive tests are reviewed by a Medical Review Officer (MRO). Employees/applicants who receive positive test results shall be given the opportunity to disclose any information concerning medications they are currently taking. It is the duty of the MRO to determine whether or not the disclosed information establishes a sound medical explanation for the positive test result. Only then can the MRO report their findings to the employer.