Massachusetts Drug Testing Laws 2022

Massachusetts Drug Testing Laws 2022


Table Of Contents:

Massachusetts does not have any laws regulating or restricting an employer from drug testing in the workplace. Massachusetts does not put any limits on workplace drug testing. Employees in safety-sensitive industries such as transportation, aviation, the Department of Defense, any contractor working with NASA have to go through testing.

Drug testing in a private workplace is not prohibited or restricted unless it violates other legal provisions such as employee or applicant rights to privacy, dignity, and reputation. However, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling on random drug testing in Webster v. Motorola serves as an important point of reference about the policy of drug testing by an employer.

The Court concluded that drug testing was relative to the duties and responsibilities of the employee. For instance, random drug testing in a private workplace is justified for an executive who drove a company-owned vehicle approximately 20,000 to 25,000 miles a year. But for an employee hired as a technical editor who neither posed a threat nor risk to the health and safety of others or national security, the same test is considered unreasonable. In other words, with respect to the editor, the employer's interest is not sufficient to outweigh the editor's privacy, dignity, and reputation.

In the absence of any legal restriction comply for implementing a drug-free workplace, the state of Massachusetts requires employees to comply with the company’s drug testing policies. Refusal to undertake a drug test on the part of the employee constitutes grounds for considering him/ her equivalent to a positive test case and may provide the employer the justification to discipline the employee.

Who will be tested and why?

The employer may choose to perform a drug test for assessing an employee for the following reasons:

1. Random Selection Testing

An employee shall submit to a drug test on a random selection basis.

2. Reasonable Suspicion Testing

An employee must submit to a drug test if there is a reasonable suspicion that the employee is under the influence of a controlled substance.

3. Pre-appointment Testing

An employee or applicant must take specific standard tests such as urine sample testing before occupying a designated position.

4. Follow-up Testing

An employee may submit to a follow-up testing if the employee voluntarily disclosed drug or alcohol problems, entered into or completed a rehabilitation program, failed, or refused a pre-appointment drug test within the previous 24-month period.

5. Post-incident Testing

An employee shall submit to a drug test if there is evidence that the employee may have caused or contributed to an on-duty accident or harm resulting in death or injury requiring immediate medical attention.

Employers who adopt a drug-free workplace program may require an employee to submit to either a drug test for controlled substances or an alcohol test. The list of illegal drugs to be tested should also be clearly outlined. The employer should also ensure that none of the information relating to a drug test will be publicized and state in the policy the people who will have access to the results.

Massachusetts MMJ

The use of MMJ has been legalized in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act allow adults over the age of 21 to legally possess, use and manufacture up to one ounce of MMJ in public. However, its use in the workplace in any form or purpose could lead to disciplinary action by the employer.

The use of MMJ by an employee off-duty calls for a different set of legal claims and actions. Drug testing such employees could be construed as an invasion of privacy and an act of disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act on the part of the employer. An employer should consider amending its drug testing policies, as in the case of MMJ, to ensure its drug-free workplace policies and procedures are relevant to the legal standards prescribed by the state.

Massachusetts newborn drug testing laws

Different states have different laws regarding the use of controlled substances during pregnancy. The problem of opioid use and abuse among pregnant women has led some states to take a more punitive course of action.  In Massachusetts, the laws require health care workers to report to authorities if they suspect pregnant women to be abusing drugs. In such cases, Child Protective Services(CPS) may be contacted.

Do teachers get Drug Tested in Massachusetts?

There are presently no state laws allowing or prohibiting employers and boards of education from testing teachers in Massachusetts.

Top 10 companies that drug test in Massachusetts

The growing instance of illicit drug users in the workplace has led employers to enforce drug-free workplace policies for disciplining and discharging employees. Here's a list of the top 10 companies that conduct drug testing in Massachusetts:

  • Gillette
  • AT&T
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Pepsi cola
  • Simplex
  • JP Morgan
  • Verizon
  • Kohls
  • Cisco
  • Target

The bottom line

A drug-free workplace ensures a safer working environment by reducing the risks and dangers of an employee under the influence of drugs. It increases the productivity and performance of the employees. It discourages drug use and encourages the treatment and recovery of employees with a history of substance abuse. However, an employer has to tread with caution and ensure that the employee's privacy, dignity, and reputation are not violated under any circumstances. The employer must provide clear notice on who and what is tested before proceeding with a drug test.

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