Employers in New Mexico may conduct drug tests without restriction, as long as they do not infringe on their worker’s human rights. Therefore, when creating a drug testing policy or conducting randomized drug tests, an employer must be careful that their testing of employees is not discriminatory, defamatory, or an invasion of privacy. However, if the drug or alcohol test is in regards to an employee’s worker’s compensation claim, the testing must follow Department of Transportation (DOT) drug and alcohol testing procedures. This means that samples must be taken by a person who passes the DOT’s training qualifications and sent to a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) certified lab for testing.
Is Certified Testing Required? No (except in worker’s compensation cases)
What can be Tested? No restrictions (except in worker’s compensation cases)
How To Conduct a Legal Drug Test
Step 1 – Under DOT regulations, employers cannot require employees to give their authorization to perform a drug/alcohol test. However, for a mandated/generalized test, an employee can be made to complete a Drug Test Release Form in order to give their formal authorization before participating in a drug test.
Step 2 – The test subject must have a physical sample taken and sent to a lab for testing. A list of certified labs can be found on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association’s (SAMHSA) website.
Step 3 – Legally, if a drug/alcohol test comes back positive, an employer may take any disciplinary action on an employee that they deem necessary. In regards to a worker’s compensation claim, if an employee that tests positive is in a job position that relates to public safety or the operation of heavy machinery, they should be immediately taken offline.