California Drug Testing and Workers’ Comp Laws

California Workers' Compensation Laws and Regulations of this State
California Workers’ Compensation Laws and Regulations
Official California Website

CALIFORNIA State Law Summary – Workplace Drug/Alcohol Testing

[Editor Note:  The information contained below was last updated in 2011 and is currently outdated.  New laws are passed and changed frequently.  This information is provided for general educational purposes only, IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE LEGAL OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL ADVISE.   Always consult your legal or medical professionals before making any decisions. For the most up to date drug laws including Marijuana @ Work, visit the Drug & Alcohol Compliance Center]

GENERAL COMMENTS:
California is considered a mandatory state (limits random drug testing to safety jobs) with additional rules stemming from state court decisions.  

POLICY: 
NO law requires a written policy; however, for workers compensation / unemployment purposes employers MUST have written policy;

NOTICE: 
NO notice or posting requirements in this state.

COSTS: 
Employer MUST pay all costs of required “medical exams”; no court has yet determined if a drug/alcohol test is a medical exam.

CONSEQUENCES: 
NO limits exit under state law or court decision.


TESTING

WHO:
 Random testing is limited by State Supreme Court decision to safety-sensitive workers only.

WHAT:
NO limits exit under state law or court decision.

WHERE: 
NO limits exit under state law or court decision.

WHEN:
State Supreme Court opinion limits random testing to safety-sensitive jobs only.

HOW: 
NO limits exit under state law or court decision.

OTHER STATE ODDITIES:

  • Has a law permitting the medical use of marijuana.

  • Has state contractor/grant recipient Drug-Free Workplace Act.

  • Has laws that provide that “intoxication” or controlled substance use (positive test/refusal) may affect eligibility for workers compensation or unemployment benefits.

  • Has law requiring employers (w/ 25 or more employees) to reasonably accommodate employee wishing to voluntary enter rehabilitation.

  • Has law that requires any drug test consortium to report positive test of CDL employee to Sec. of State.  

  • Has state court decision that requires employers to advise employees that the purchase of medications in foreign countries could cause a positive test result.
[Editor Note:  The information contained below was last updated in 2011 and is currently outdated.  New laws are passed and changed frequently.  This information is provided for general educational purposes only, IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE LEGAL OR OTHER PROFESSIONAL ADVISE.   Always consult your legal or medical professionals before making any decisions. For the most up to date drug laws including Marijuana @ Work, visit the Drug & Alcohol Compliance Center]

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