North Carolina Drug Testing Laws 2022: Everything We Know

North Carolina Drug Testing Laws 2022: Everything We Know


North Carolina has multiple laws that govern drug testing, with varying degrees of power based on where you fall in the employment spectrum. The laws are constantly changing, with new rules and amendments coming into effect regularly. 

In North Carolina, there are both federal and state drug testing laws. Those not seeking employment can abide by the federal drug testing laws. Those in jobs requiring a workplace accident insurance policy must follow NC's workplace safety standards for safety-sensitive positions. Employers can still mandate additional drug testing beyond what is required by law.

The following article will cover a lot of North Carolina drug testing laws. Let us look at the current state and federal legislation and what can happen if you fail.

Table Of Contents:

Child Protective Services Drug Testing Laws In North Carolina

The Child Protective Services (CPS) in North Carolina must follow federal guidelines. The state operates with a "mandatory suspicion" policy which means that CPS must have a reasonable suspicion that a person is using drugs before drug testing. 

According to their guidelines, it would be based on whether the child would be affected by parents' drug abuse or neglect. NC criminal laws can affect your rights to request a drug test within state borders and are mostly not the same as those of federally mandated drug testing laws. 

The NC criminal system currently mandates that people convicted of drug-related crimes undergo testing and treatment. The length of the program is based on the type of offense and ranges from 12 months to four years. 

Additionally, the CPS policy in North Carolina is one of the only Federal guidelines to diagnose drug abuse and treat it. The policy has the following guidelines:

  • State involvement: Generally, a family must need CPS services before an investigation begins.
  • Inclusion: Families that wish to consider inclusion in the program must participate in assessments, home studies, and interviews with CPS workers. 
  • Testing: Prospective program participants must undergo drug testing before acceptance into the program. The reasoning behind the testing is general to assess and diagnose any potential drug issues or problems that may result in additional care and treatment needs. 
  • Treatment: Participation in the program requires participants to agree to a minimum of three months of treatment, with the length of treatment being dependent on an individual basis.

How Does The CPS Drug Test Work In North Carolina?

All potential participants must be tested along with their children. The testing is conducted at a private facility, and once the testing is complete, the results are sent to CPS, who will then determine if there are grounds to proceed with the investigation. 

The mother or father will be tested first, and, upon a negative result, the child will be tested. The NC CPS policy is a state government initiative. It has a unique method of approaching the program, requiring collaboration between community support and CPS workers. 

It is an example of a multi-agency approach to drug testing issues, which became a best practice in solving drug problems within the state. The process under The CPS starts with a referral. 

The referral could be from a medical professional, the law enforcement department, or a faith-based institution. CPS is charged with protecting children but must also work to ensure their safety and prevent future abuse.

The CPS policy also addresses families that are already in the foster system. CPS workers may request a drug test as part of ongoing services to legally mandated participants. However, the drug-testing program shall continue if the test indicates a risk of harm. 

In case the drug test results are positive, the family will be required to participate in a series of drug treatment sessions. Unlike other states in America, a positive drug test may not result in the transfer of the child to another family. 

But, it is not ignored either. Instead, the state will work with the family to ensure continuous safety and care and may even pay for treatment in a facility of their choice.

What Type Of Drug Tests Does CPS Use In North Carolina?

The state has multiple types of drug tests it can use to identify issues with a person's health or behavior. Depending on the context of the circumstance, state law may require a medical examination, lab testing, urine testing, hair testing, or blood testing. 

The director of CPS has the authority to determine which method is needed based on the circumstances. The NC CPS policy uses hair and blood tests to detect substances like cocaine, methamphetamine, and MMJ. 

A state-licensed lab conducts the hair and blood tests, and results are sent to CPS if they seek further action. The same applies to urine testing and oral saliva drug tests. 

The Best Option For A CPS Hair Follicle Drug Test In North Carolina

A hair follicle drug test is a widely used method to detect drug abuse in North Carolina. The process is simple and works by testing a person's hair for traces of drugs that have been consumed in the past 90 days. 

However, the Uritox hair follicle drug test kit is one of the best products on the market. The Uritox hair follicle drug test is fast and quick, running within six hours for the results to be returned. 

It does not require extensive preparation and provides an excellent overall picture of an individual's drug use. Its results are easy to read and show which drugs are present at a high or low level. 

The Uritox hair follicle drug test kit will help identify drug addiction, dependency, and drug exposure. It can be used for general screening purposes and can be used by medical professionals and employers to detect risky behavior of their current employees.

Newborn Drug Testing Laws In North Carolina

Newborn drug testing laws in North Carolina are different from other states. A newborn is not tested for drugs unless their parents consent in the state. However, you can use this consent against them if an allegation is made against the parent. 

If a court determines that drug abuse is a factor in a newborn's life, they may choose to subject the child to random drug testing at any point in their life, along with a home inspection by the CPS. 

The reason behind this law is mainly to ensure that children with unaddressed drug issues do not fall through the cracks. However, in North Carolina, as long as you are a functioning adult with a job and living in a stable home environment, the CPS cannot take away the newborn unless there is an issue that warrants it. 

Drug testing during pregnancy is completely voluntary. The state does not require all pregnant women to undergo a drug test before giving birth unless the mother is at risk of becoming an addicted parent. 

The testing takes place at a certified lab and requires mothers to give their consent in writing before they are tested. A positive result during pregnancy will not necessarily warrant child removal unless the state confirms that there is a concern for the child's health and safety.

Pre-Employment Drug Testing Laws In North Carolina

North Carolina's pre-employment drug testing laws are not very rigid. It's up to the employer's discretion in each particular situation. There are instances where pre-employment drug testing for a job is a must, but it still relies solely on the employer's discretion. A failed drug test may result in dismissal. 

However, there are a few exceptions, as some safety-sensitive roles must undergo pre-employment drug testing. These roles include transportation, aviation, and contractors with the Department of Defense or NASA. 

Whether drug testing is compulsory by federal law or optional under North Carolina's law, employers must regulate the drug testing procedures outlined in the Controlled Substance Examination Regulation Act. 

In North Carolina, the Controlled Substance Examination Regulation Act governs all aspects of pre-employment drug testing. These include setting requirements for employers conducting pre-employment drug testing, providing a process for collecting, maintaining, and using employee drug test results, and administering pre-employment testing. 

In addition, prospective employers must carefully ensure that their pre-employment drug testing procedures do not violate any privacy laws. If the employer violates any of these laws, the employer may even face civil or criminal penalties.

Do Teachers Get Drug Tested In North Carolina?

In North Carolina, it is up to the district leader to determine how many teachers can be tested for drugs a year. The policy, however, is a bit vague. A high level of suspicion is required before a teacher can be tested. 

If a teacher has been arrested for drug use in the past or showed signs of addiction, they may be subjected to drug testing every six months or once a year. Teachers may also be subject to random tests if there is an excessive number of positive outcomes from drug tests over the last three years. 

Moreover, in the case of a positive drug test, the teacher may be subject to disciplinary measures and termination procedures.

Top Companies And Agencies That Drug Test In North Carolina

The following list of companies and agencies that drug test in North Carolina is listed here.

  1. Mohawk Industries: A global manufacturer of residential and commercial carpeting, Mohawk Industries drug tests all current employees involved in any of their regulated departments. They enforce a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to drugs and alcohol.
  2. Jeld wen: A worldwide manufacturer of windows, doors, and other home exteriors, Jeld wen enforces a strict drug testing policy to ensure that its employees are safe and are working in a drug-free workplace.
  3. John Deere: A global manufacturer of construction equipment and farm machinery, John Deere is a leader in the drug testing industry. They have one of the best programs for drug testing employees.
  4. Insight Global: An IT management company, Insight Global employs a powerful drug and alcohol testing program for all their employees. Their employees must undergo urine drug testing at least once every two years to ensure a drug-free workplace.
  5. Piedmont aviation: A fixed-based operator, Piedmont aviation drug tests all new hires. To ensure that employees are safe on the job, they enforce a strict drug policy and terminate anyone who has a failed test.
  6. Case foods Inc.: A multinational food company, case foods Inc. has a comprehensive drug-testing program that includes pre-employment, random, and work-test returns. They even have a zero-tolerance policy for any drug policy violation and will terminate any employee who violates the policy.
  7. Dupont: A global manufacturer of a wide range of chemicals and agricultural products, Dupont drug tests their employees involved in any regulated areas. They have a complete drug testing program that includes forensics testing, rehabilitation therapy and counseling, education, and pre-employment testing.
  8. Nomaco Inc.: Nomaco is a leader in the drug policy for their employees. They have a comprehensive drug-testing program that includes pre-employment, random, and return-to-work testing.
  9. Apex Systems Inc.: An employment agency company with an extensive drug testing program, Apex Systems Inc. drug tests its employees at all levels. They test their employees in supervision and management, employment screening, pre-employment testing, and post-accident testing. 
  10. Cisco Systems: A leading global technology company, Cisco systems employ a drug testing policy that includes pre-employment, random, and return-to-work testing.

Top 10 Jobs In North Carolina That Don't Drug Test

The following list of jobs in North Carolina that don't drug test is listed here.

  1. Purchasing Assistant: By law, purchasing assistants don't have to undergo drug testing. They are also exempt from all security clearance and background checks.
  2. Freight Conductor: Freight conductors don't have to undergo drug tests. However, they do need to be approved by the employer before being allowed to take a job.
  3. Sales Representative: Sales representatives are not required to undergo drug testing as they aren't classified as safety-sensitive positions. They also don't have to undergo any background checks.
  4. Stock Clerk: Stock clerks don't need to get tested for drugs or undergo background checks before being hired by the employer. However, they need to go through a pre-employment physical evaluation before being allowed to work in a certain department or job site.
  5. Delivery Associate: Delivery associates don't need to undergo pre-employment physical examinations or drug tests. They are also not required to pass any background checks.
  6. Vehicle Title and Registration Clerk: Vehicle title and registration clerks don't need to undergo pre-employment physicals or drug tests. 
  7. House Cleaners: House cleaners don't have to undergo pre-employment physicals or drug tests. However, they do need to be approved by the employer before being allowed to take a job.
  8. Traffic Control Flagger: Traffic control flaggers are not required to go through drug testing during the hiring process. They also don't need to undergo a pre-employment physical examination or background checks.
  9. Warehouse Helper: Warehouse helpers don't have to go through any drug testing before being hired by the employer. They also don't have to go through any background checks to be hired.
  10. Sanitation worker: There is no requirement for sanitation workers to undergo drug testing. They also don't need to go through any background checks.

North Carolina Employer Drug Test Laws

According to the North Carolina Department of Labor (NCDOL), "the Wage and Hour Bureau enforces the Controlled Substance Examination Regulation Act that protects prospective employees from unreliable and inadequate examinations and screening. 

It also ensures that procedural requirements for administering controlled substance examinations are established. North Carolina has strict rules for drug testing job applicants that employers must abide by. 

The following is a list of laws that must be complied with.

  1. The employer must use an approved laboratory for drug testing.
  2. A licensed health care professional must collect samples responsibly.
  3. Maintain confidentiality at all times. The test results must remain private and confidential, provided the test was conducted after an accident or incident that caused injury to another person.
  4. A positive result must be reported to the employing unit within a reasonable time from the collection date. In addition, the result must confirm through secondary tests.
  5. An employer must provide a written copy of their policy on drug testing to job applicants within five days.
  6. Most importantly, if an employee fails a drug test in North Carolina, the Controlled Substance Examination Regulation Act gives them the right to a retest or a confirmation test. It can be done within seven days of the original test and is mandatory in some situations.

Moreover, there are certain situations where it's up to the employer's discretion in North Carolina to drug test its employees. The following is a list of circumstances in which an employer can drug test its employees.

  • When an employee is on-board, an employer can make them take the test.
  • Random drug testing of employees is allowed in NC.
  • If an employee is involved in a workplace accident or incident where there was a possibility of substance abuse involved, drug testing would be mandatory.
  • An employer must also request a medical examination when they suspect impairment due to drugs and are required to submit results regardless of the outcome.
  • If an employee is working in a safety-sensitive position, it's possible that an employer can make them undergo a drug test.
  • A follow-up drug testing is done regularly as per the job position.

What Might Happen On Failing A Drug Test On Probation In North Carolina?

If a person violates the conditions of their sentence and fails a drug test, they could face severe penalties. Here are the possible outcomes:

  1. If the individual is on probation, they will likely have to submit to more frequent drug testing once they are released from custody.
  2. If another failure occurs, any probation period served before a violation will not be added to a sentence.
  3. If the individual is on a drug-related community punishment, they must serve a sentence and can't be released early.
  4. The offender must submit to more frequent drug testing and attend rehabilitation programs in North Carolina to be released.
  5. If the individual violates probation in any other way, they will likely be sent to jail for the remainder of their original sentence.


Drug testing has become a necessary step for prospective employees in North Carolina. Employers need to be aware of their rights and responsibilities when conducting drug tests in North Carolina. 

The penalties for violating drug testing laws shouldn't be taken lightly, especially in the eyes of a judge or jury. The probation and parole rules are often violated unknowingly by offenders, so they must know the terms they can expect once released from jail. 

The rules surrounding drug testing in North Carolina are not to be taken lightly, especially considering the benefits and penalties associated with each violation.


Does North Carolina have state laws regarding the use of MMJ?

Yes, there are several laws regarding MMJ use in North Carolina. It is illegal to possess MMJ, even if it is only enough for personal consumption. The punishment for this crime will vary based on the amount of MMJ possessed, whether for personal consumption or involves paraphernalia. 

Additionally, unlike many other states in Unites states, North Carolina has zero-tolerance laws, resulting in a felony charge.

Which illegal drugs are tested for in North Carolina?

It's up to individual employers to decide which illegal drugs they choose to test. MMJ, opiates, amphetamines, and cocaine are the most commonly tested drugs.

What happens if I'm caught with drugs on the job in North Carolina?

The penalties for having drugs on the job vary according to the type of drug found and whether or not it was intended for personal use or use on the job. If there are multiple offenses committed, the penalties will also increase. However, there are often cases where the penalties will be reduced if they include participation in a substance abuse program.

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