There are no laws in Virginia which regulate private employment drug-testing. Therefore, a private employer is not required to, or prohibited from, conducting a drug test on any employee or applicant. An employer who voluntarily implements a drug-free workplace policy is eligible to receive a discount on their workers’ compensation fees. In these instances, the employer must establish a drug-testing policy that adheres to their insurance company’s requirements. Furthermore, any contractor with a state contract valued above $10,000 is required to maintain a drug-free workplace policy in accordance with § 2.2-4312.

Can Current Employees be Tested? Yes. If the employer has implemented a drug-free workplace policy, current employees may be tested if done so with respect to their insurance company’s guidelines.

Is Certified Testing Required? No, a private employer is not required to conduct a certified drug test. However, if the employer has voluntarily implemented a drug-free workplace policy, the test must be conducted in accordance with the insurer’s regulations.

Laws – § 2.2-4312 and § 65.2-813.2

What Can be Tested? No restrictions unless mentioned by the insurer in the drug-free workplace policy.

How to Conduct a Legal Drug Test

The following instructions will direct a private employer through the process of conducting a legal drug test in Virginia. If the organization has implemented a drug-free workplace policy, the test must be executed according to the insurer’s policies.

Note that the drug test should not violate the subject’s right to privacy. Additionally, when deciding on who is to be tested, the employer should not discriminate against a specific group of employees or applicants.

Step 1 – The subject of the drug test should begin by filling out a Drug Test Release Form to indicate their consent to being drug tested.

Step 2 – A sample may now be collected from the subject. There are no limitations on what can be collected, though the following  samples are commonly tested for drugs and alcohol:

  • Blood
  • Breath
  • Hair
  • Saliva
  • Urine

Step 3 – Next, the sample must be brought to a laboratory to be tested. Certified testing is not required in the State of Virginia. Therefore, the sample may be brought to any medical facility which offers drug testing (see List of Testing Centers).

Step 4 – If the subject tests positive to a drug test, the individual should be notified of such information and be given the chance to mention any prescribed medications which might have interfered with the drug test. The employer may fire an employee or disqualify an applicant if he/she deems it necessary.