There are currently no statutes specifically restricting New York employment drug testing for private enterprises. Therefore, private employers are free to mandate generalized drug testing policies for job applicants and employees, as long as they do not infringe on their civil rights, right to privacy, or discriminate on a basis of disability. The state considers drug and alcohol addiction a disability, which means that employees who are recovering from addiction may qualify for exceptional treatment in regards to an employer’s drug testing policy (§466.11-h, §825.119).
As long as the employer has a written drug testing policy, they are permitted by law to terminate employees who test positive or refuse to participate in drug tests. This policy must describe the employer’s drug testing procedures and the possible consequences for employees who test positive. Furthermore, if a policy has been put in place, employees who test positive will be unable to receive unemployment compensation for breach of conduct.
If an employer wishes to be eligible for workers’ compensation credits through the Workplace Safety and Loss Incentive Program (WSLPIP), they must create a Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program as detailed under §60-1.14.
Is Certified Testing Required? Yes.
Can employees be tested? Yes.
What can be Tested? No restrictions.
How To Conduct a Legal Drug Test
Step 1 – The employer may request that their employee complete a Drug Test Release Form, as written authorization, before the sample is taken. If the sample is taken at an on-site clinic, they must be licensed by the state.
Step 2 – Once taken, the subject sample must be sent to a certified laboratory for drug/alcohol testing. If you need to locate a certified laboratory, you can consult the lab list provided on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association’s (SAMHSA) website.
Step 3 – After testing has been completed, the employer will be sent a report of the test results. If an employee has tested positive for illegal drug use, the employer has the right to employ disciplinary measures or terminate the employee.