The State of Rhode Island does not require employers to conduct drug testing on applicants or employees. An employer may only test an applicant pre-employment if the applicant is informed of the testing and agrees to the condition. If attempting to drug test an employee, the employer must have documented reports which show evidence that they have legal grounds to test the employee (see “Can Current Employees be Tested?” below). Random drug testing in not allowed in Rhode Island.

Can Current Employees be Tested? Yes, if the following circumstances are met:

  • Reasonable suspicion
  • Post-accident
  • Return-to-duty

Is Certified Testing Required? No, the initial test needn’t be certified. If the initial test is positive, the secondary test must be conducted in a federally certified laboratory.

Laws – § 28-6.5-1 and § 28-6.5-2

What can be Tested? Urine, blood, other bodily fluid and tissue.

How to Conduct a Legal Drug Test

Step 1 – The individual should begin by filling out a Drug Test Release Form. The employer may then obtain one of the following samples from the employee:

  • Urine
  • Blood
  • Other bodily fluid and tissue

Step 2 – With the sample taken, the employer must have it tested at a medical facility; the initial test needn’t be assessed at a certified laboratory. Navigate to this webpage and scroll down to find a list of testing facilities in Rhode Island.

Step 3 – A positive test result must be verified by a second test conducted in a certified medical laboratory (see Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration certified lab list).

Step 4 – An employer may not terminate the employment of an individual in the event that the employee tests positive a second time. The employer must instead refer the employee to a licensed substance abuse professional. If the employee tests positive after additional testing beyond the first and second test, their employment may be terminated legally.