New York Drug Testing Laws 2022: Everything We Know

New York Drug Testing Laws 2022: Everything We Know


Drugs like MMJ, Cocaine, and 6-MAM have become a huge problem in New York over the last few decades. It is true for both illegal drugs and prescription medications that people become addicted to and which often lead them down a path of self-destruction. 

The good news is that there are drug testing laws that allow us to identify drug addicts and get them the help they may need before they can cause too much damage. New York's drug testing laws are constantly changing, and they're going to be significantly different than they have been in the past. Let's take a closer look.

Table Of Contents:

CPS/Child Protective Services Drug Testing Laws In New York

First and foremost, it's important to understand the laws that are already in place that allow drug testing in situations involving cases of child abuse, neglect, and dependency. 

New York State's Child Protective Services Act (1973) is the law that governs child protection cases. It does so by providing for the mandatory testing of any individuals who have been determined to have abused or neglected a child under their care.

That means that those individuals who are determined to be unfit from the very beginning might be subject to drug testing. 

Although New York's CPS drug testing laws are stringent, they are not set in stone. There is a chance that these laws can be modified as long as the changes are significant and help protect children. They also have to abide by the federal law and guidelines set forth.

However, New York, like most states, created a child protection system in statute with five fundamental components:

  1. Detection program
  2. Investigations 
  3. Obtain evidence
  4. Act on information
  5. Ensure safety

How Does CPS Drug Test Work In New York State?

In New York State, any individual who is found to be unfit regarding a child's management or care is required by law to undergo a drug screening. However, the CPS drug test in New York works as follows:

  1. Report of neglect or abuse must be made to the CPS in New York State
  2. The CPS will then investigate the matter and determine if there's sufficient evidence of abuse, neglect, or dependency
  3. Suppose it is determined that abuse or neglect occurred. In that case, the CPS may petition for drug testing to determine if these individuals have any substance abuse issues that prevent them from managing their child correctly.
  4. A positive drug test result might lead to additional disciplinary actions by the court system. It may include:
  • Restrictions on contacts with the child or guardian
  • Termination of parental rights and care
  • Only those determined to be unfit will be subject to drug testing by the CPS.

Moreover, the parents and guardians of the children whose custody has been terminated cannot use any substances. 

They are only allowed to use drugs if they need their prescription medications to maintain their health. Any blatant attempts at self-medicating will lead to termination of parental rights and care.

What Type Of Drug Tests Does CPS Use In New York?

The CPS typically uses one of three drug testing methods in New York State.

  1. Hair Follicle Test: CPS drug testing usually utilizes a hair follicle test to determine if there are any signs of drug use within an individual's system. This test works by examining the hair growing on the individual's scalp. 
  2. Urine Test: A urine test is easy and the most common and inexpensive way for the CPS to conduct drug testing. It's also a relatively easy test to conduct, as it requires only a few simple steps.
  3. Saliva Test: Finally, the CPS can also obtain a saliva test from an individual to determine whether they have recently used any drugs. Saliva tests are done by collecting a saliva sample with a soft swab of the individual's cheek.

Best Option For CPS Hair Follicle Drug Test In New York

The best hair follicle drug test New York has to offer is the Uritox Hair Follicle Drug Test. Its state-of-the-art technology allows to easily detect an individual's drug use and help put those unfit people who can't care for their children in the right place immediately.

Furthermore, the Uritox hair follicle test is FDA certified to ensure its accuracy. It is also the go-to testing solution for those who want to get a correct reading of their hair follicle drug test. This drug test can detect drugs up to 90 days after the last drug use, which is more than enough time to determine if someone was using drugs when they were supposed to be taking care of their child.

Uritox hair follicle test is convenient and easy to use. It can be easily used in the comfort of your home, making it almost impossible to make a mistake while performing the test. Get tested at your nearest drug testing center and get your results in a short period of time.

New Born Drug Testing Laws In New York

  • In New York, it is prohibited to conduct any drug test on a newborn or a pregnant individual without written confirmation in public hospitals. The parents and guardians are responsible for drug testing on their baby unless there's an immediate danger for their or someone else's life that requires them to conduct the drug test immediately.
  • It is also prohibited to punish an individual for refusing to consent to drug testing on their newborn or a pregnant individual unless there is a reasonable suspicion that the individual was using illegal substances during the time their child was conceived.
  • Drug testing without consent can only happen in an emergency or medical purposes.

Pre-Employment Drug Testing Laws In New York

The laws surrounding drug testing in New York are very different from those of other states. New York is the first state where employers have been banned from pre-employment drug testing for the use of cannabis since May 10, 2020. 

In other words, an employer may not test an employee for MMJ use; employers are also prohibited from considering MMJ use as a factor when hiring new employees. The employer cannot discriminate against an individual based on their MMJ use unless there is a medical emergency. 

Although this is not applicable for those applying to safety-sensitive positions such as commercial drivers, aviation staff, and health care employees who have direct contact with patients, it is still legal for employers to require drug testing of all safety-sensitive positions. 

Thus, an employer may decide which employees need drug tests and which do not. However, a worker may sue the employer in court if they have failed to follow these new laws. The above policies can change, so individuals are encouraged to keep abreast of them.

Do Teachers Get Drug Tested In New York?

There is no drug testing policy for teachers in New York State. However, teachers are drug tested from time to time based on their profession and the district they are situated in. None of the districts across the state of New York have official policies that require teachers to consent to drug testing, but some have policies that allow for random testing. 

Additionally, if necessary, the district will be able to ask applicants or employees to submit to urinalysis, hair follicle testing, or hair analysis. Therefore, teachers may have their drug tests done frequently.

Moreover, as per New York State's highest court case, the courts have ruled that it is illegal to force public school teachers to submit to drug tests without a ''reasonable suspicion'' of drug use. Thus, if a teacher decides that they do not want to be tested, the school district may not force them to. 

The reasonable suspicion that New York courts have specified for mandatory drug testing of school teachers is a reasonable belief that the teacher is on drugs while at work. In other words, if it's believed that a teacher is under the influence of illegal drugs at work hours, then they may be subject to a drug test.

Top 10 Companies And Agencies That Drug Test In New York

Below is a list of the top 10 companies and agencies that drug test in New York.

  1. Walmart: Walmart is a company that tests its employees for drugs regularly. The company often conducts urine drug tests; the main reason is to maintain safety in the workplace. 
  2. Philip Morris: This tobacco giant has many employees subjected to drug testing. All staff at Philip Morris must consent to drug testing. The company tests employees' blood and urine for the presence of drugs. 
  3. Walgreens: Most employers in New York State prefer to test their employees in safety-sensitive positions. In the case of Walgreens, all staff that works with patients are subjected to urine drug tests. 
  4. K-mart: The K-mart is a retail chain slowly making its way into the workplace. Most K-mart employees are subject to drug testing. This case ensures the safety and ensures no illegal drugs in the workplace. 
  5. Parsons Corporation: Parsons Corporation is another company that tests its staff. It conducts in-house urinalysis and blood tests to ensure a drug-free workplace. 
  6. Long island railroad: The Long Island Railroad in New York tests all employees for the presence of drugs. It is legal for employers to test employees for drugs randomly, and the company does not discriminate against any individual based on their drug use.
  7. Jones Apparel Group: The Jones Group conducts drug testing on employees in the interest of workplace safety. All those that work with customers need to pass a urine drug test.
  8. United Parcel Service: The United Parcel Service is one of the largest shipping companies in the U.S. The company requires its employees to submit to random drug tests. 
  9. Partners in Care: This health care provider in New York State has a random drug testing policy. All those that work with patients and the general public are subjected to blood and urine drug tests.
  10. Bausch and Lomb: The drug testing policy at Bausch and Lomb is for safety and health purpose. They are one of the leading companies that conduct mandatory drug tests on all their employees.

Top 10 Jobs In New York That Don't Drug Test.

Below mentioned is a list of the top 10 jobs in New York that don't drug test: 

  1. Chef: Unless special circumstances, chefs are not subjected to drug tests in New York. They are not drug tested even during the employment process.
  2. Bookkeeper: Another job not subjected to drug testing is a bookkeeper. It is not common for a bookkeeper to be drug tested unless you apply for a higher position requiring you to oversee other workers.
  3. Event Planner or Wedding Consultant: Event planners and wedding consultants usually are not subjected to drug tests unless they are in management positions where they will be leading other employees.
  4. Food Blogger: If you're looking for a job as a food blogger, you can be assured that you will not be subjected to drug testing. To have a successful career in this field, having no records of drug use is one of the things that you need to look out for. 
  5. Video Game Designer: Video Game Designers are not subjected to drug tests. It is only in case of disciplinary issues that they may be subjected to drug testing. 
  6. Security Guard: Many people believe that security guards are always subjected to drug testing. However, this is not true. A security guard can be subject to random drug testing if they have been found in possession of drugs or have a history of abusing drugs while on duty.
  7. Photographer: Photographers can rarely be subjected to drug testing. Most photographers in New York State do not even have drug testing as part of their company's drug testing policy.
  8. Florist: Florists usually are not subject to drug testing in New York State unless they are part of a retail flower shop. Retail florists might be subjected to drug testing, while the employees at wholesale flower shops are not.
  9. Dog Trainer: Most dog trainers at training schools or even pet grooming shops are not subjected to drug testing. A lack of proof points to an increased risk of employee drug use among dog trainers.
  10. Writer: Writers are not subjected to drug testing in New York State. If you apply for a job as a writer, you don't need to worry about being subjected to random drug tests.

New York Employer Drug Testing Laws

New York does not have a particular law regulating drug testing in the workplace. It is illegal to fire employees or fires them alone based on drug test results. Employers should, however, follow specific procedures and guidelines when conducting drug testing.

New York has recently legalized MMJ, as mentioned above. However, no law regulates the use of MMJ in the workplace. As per the New York Labor Law, an employer can take action against employee MMJ usage when:

  • Their MMJ usage substantially impairs the employee's performance.
  • Employees' safety is at risk because they are under the influence while working.
  • The use of MMJ interferes with an employer's ability to conduct its business safely (for example, an airline pilot or nuclear power station operator).

Moreover, New York employers can do drug testing under the following circumstances:

  • If they have an employee policy that mandates random drug testing.
  • If they have a reasonable suspicion that the employee is under the influence of drugs while on duty.
  • If an employer requires their employees to be in a safety-sensitive position and undergo drug testing as a condition of employment.
  • If an employer discovers that the employee or potential employee has a positive drug test result on their record or has been convicted in the past of using drugs.

Employers can have their employees undergo drug testing when they make certain decisions. Suppose an employer terminates an employee due to drug usage. In that case, it is illegal for them to do so without following proper procedures that the New York State Department approves of Labor. These procedures include:

  1. The employer has to notify the employee about the employer's intent to test for drugs.
  2. The employer must allow the employee to challenge negative results from previous drug tests or confirm positive results from a drug test if they are contested.
  3. The employer must provide the employee with written documentation of their rights within five days of announcing that they have failed a drug test.

Therefore, it is essential to note that a positive drug test result alone can never be the sole reason why an employer fires an employee. 

The New York State Department of Labor also requires a written explanation of why the employer has fired an employee and a description of the specific circumstances that gave rise to the termination. All employers should follow this policy to not run into legal issues.

What Are The Repercussions Of Failing A Drug Test On Probation In New York?

If a person is found guilty of violating the terms of their Probation, they will immediately be revoked of their Probation and re-admitted to State Prison. New York State has implemented a drug-free system to ensure that probationers do not use drugs.

The standard New York City Community Supervision Program requires that an offender not have had any violations of their Probationary Plan for six months. The Probationary Plan must include testing and treatment as conditions. 

If this is not completed, the offender will be charged with a violation and begin serving their sentence right away. However, if an offender refuses to submit to drug testing after being ordered by the court, they will be revoked of their Probation and sentenced immediately. 


New York State drug testing is relatively limited. Not all employers test their employees, and indeed, not all jobs require that an employee test positive for drugs. Those subjected to drug testing will undoubtedly have the right to appeal their negative results, and if they are appealing a positive result, they will have the right to request more time to submit to a new drug test. 

Moreover, it is also essential to note that new cannabis laws have been passed in New York State. Depending upon where you work, you might be able to smoke MMJ at work. 

However, it would help if you still exercised caution as employees may be subjected to drug tests unrelated to MMJ usage. Employers should make sure that their drug testing policy is comprehensive and comprehensive enough for anyone to understand.


What is the difference between New York State law and Federal law in drug testing?

The difference between New York State law and Federal Drug testing law is that at the state level, you have more rights than you would at the Federal level. For instance, in some states, an employer can ask their employees to undergo random drug tests without any justifiable grounds; however, in New York State, an employer cannot do this unless they have some evidence of employee drug use or are partaking in a safety-sensitive job.

Does New York take defensive action against employers who illegally fire employees based on drug tests?

If an employee is fired because they failed a drug test and did not have prior notice that they would be tested, the employer will be ordered by the court to reinstate their employee.

Can an employer choose not to hire someone who has a drug conviction?

The New York State Department of Labor is against employers discriminating against people with a drug conviction, especially if they seek employment in jobs requiring some license or certification.

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