West Virginia Employee Drug Testing Laws 2022: Everything We Know

West Virginia Employee Drug Testing Laws 2022: Everything We Know


West Virginia legislation is among the strictest in the US regarding drug testing employees. The state mandates that all workers be screened for drugs and alcohol, but there are a few exceptions.

It is one of the 23 states that require pre-employment drug screening, but it is one of only four states that have provisions for reducing the burden and expense of the tests.

All employers in West Virginia are subject to state drug testing laws. The West Virginia Division of Labor enforces these laws. They will administer an extensive screening process to employees and applicants for employment. The employer has the right to reject any applicant whom he feels would not be able to pass a drug test.

However, other aspects in which drug testing can be used to protect the rights of the people of West Virginia are mentioned in detail in the article.

Table Of Contents:

CPS/Child Protective Services Drug Testing Laws In West Virginia

Child Protective Services in West Virginia is similar to other states in America, as it has laws on drug screening of parents, caretakers, and guardians. The level of punishment is not as severe as in some other states, and it can vary depending on the specifics of a specific case.

However, if the parent or guardian of the child has been convicted of a drug-related offense and CPS has information that the person is using illegal drugs, then that person loses their right to raise the child. CPS policy in West Virginia has the following features:

  • The CPS policy in West Virginia is to provide the necessary resources to children in physically or emotionally abusive environments.
  • It complies with the federal guidelines and respects family privacy rights.
  • It collaborates with the court system and police to ensure the safety of children and the safety of others.
  • The aim is to return the child to a safe, permanent home in West Virginia as soon as possible and within a time frame that is reasonable and feasible.
  • Child Protective Services (CPS) will use drug testing for parents, guardians, or caretakers only if there are a few reasons to believe they are using drugs.

Steps of CPS action In West Virginia:

  1. First, the state will investigate to determine whether there is a need for drug testing.
  2. The agency will supply reasonable efforts to contact the child's biological or custodial parent or guardian.
  3. If CPS feels that it is necessary to use drug testing on these parents or guardians, then it will provide reasonable efforts by CPS to encourage family cooperation.
  4. CPS will evaluate the situation and determine the best course of action, keeping in mind that their number one priority is the safety and well-being of children.
  5. After evaluating the situation, CPS in West Virginia will develop a safety plan for the child. The safety plan will ensure that a child's emotional, physical, and mental needs are taken care of.

How Does CPS Drug Test Work In West Virginia?

By state law, a parent, guardian, or caretaker of the child must submit to a drug test if any of the following circumstances exist:

  1. The child has been placed in temporary foster care, shelter care, or another secure environment because of physical abuse, sexual abuse, possible abandonment, or neglect.
  2. A court has found that the parent is guilty of a crime, and there is a reasonable possibility that the person is using illegal drugs.
  3. The parent has been convicted or found that they have violated specific or state laws in their past.
  4. The parent, guardian, or caretaker has been in prison for a drug-related crime, and there is reasonable evidence of drug use by the person.

Moreover, the CPS drug and alcohol testing process in West Virginia is not too complicated. The parent or guardian will be asked whether they would be willing to submit to a drug test, and if they agree, they will be taken to a lab center where they will provide a urine specimen for a 5-panel urine drug test

The drug and alcohol test results will help the authorities determine if the child can be placed with the parent or guardian.

What Type Of Drug Tests Does CPS Use In West Virginia?

Drug tests in CPS cases can be done at home, on-site, or in a laboratory by a certified agency. There are different drug tests such as hair, oral fluid, sweat patch, saliva analysis, blood test, and urine test. 

However, in the case of CPS drug tests, the most commonly used types are urine and oral fluid because it is a more accurate method; they can better assess whether a particular parent or guardian is using drugs.

The Best Option For CPS Hair Follicle Drug Test In West Virginia?

The most common method used for drug testing is a hair test. However, the best available hair drug test kit in West Virginia for individual and employee testing is the Uritox Platinum Hair Drug Test. 

It is highly accurate, and it has all the necessary components to provide a good result within a day or two. The Uritox Platinum hair drug test kit requires a small hair sample from the scalp and can be conducted in private places such as homes or doctors' offices. 

Additionally, it can detect drugs like Fentanyl, Suboxone, Methadone, Tramadol, and Ketamine. 

Newborn Drug Testing Laws In West Virginia

In West Virginia, there are specific laws that deal with the drug testing of newborns. According to the relevant laws, if a pregnant woman visits a hospital for labor or delivery, then at the time of her discharge from the hospital, the hospital administrator will require her to submit to a drug test. 

It might only happen in case of a suspicion that the mother is using drugs, but if the drug test result is positive, she will be asked to take follow-up drug tests at least once a week from her discharge.

Furthermore, the drug test can also be ordered by the court or a judge in West Virginia if the court has evidence that the child is being exposed to drugs and there is a risk of dependency. 

In this case, the child must submit a drug test, and its mother will be directed to enroll in a substance abuse treatment plan. However, if the mother refuses to enroll in a treatment program, then she may have to bear a fine of $500 or more.

Pre-Employment Drug Testing Laws In West Virginia

The use of drug tests in the workplace is not uncommon, but it is still a controversial issue. The laws of West Virginia refer to drug testing as a health and safety issue that has the potential to prevent accidental ingestion of drugs by employees. 

Therefore, employers should consider the health and safety when considering employee drug-testing policies. 

According to West Virginia law, if a state or federal government agency requires a drug test for an individual who wants to apply for a position within that agency, then the employer must provide suitable arrangements for the execution of drug testing and administer drug tests to all individuals applying for positions that require drug testing. 

However, the pre-employment drug testing law in West Virginia might not apply to private employers. It is primarily applicable to state, federal, or local government agencies. Additionally, the Pre-employment drug testing law in West Virginia does not prescribe a specific employer policy. 

However, the law states that if an employer adopts a specific policy, then it must consider the following factors:

  • The nature of the workplace and the safety risks associated with it.
  • The type of drug test used for testing prospective employees.
  • The availability and reliability of drug testing equipment and services in the area.
  • The cost of drug testing.
  • The necessity of a written policy of pre-employment drug testing and how such a policy will affect employees who work with sick or injured patients or patients who are receiving medication, rehabilitation, or other treatments controlled under federal law or under the laws of the state or territory where they work.

Do Teachers Get Drug Tested In West Virginia?

In West Virginia, a teacher does not have to submit to a drug test or alcohol test in the normal course of their duties. However, the Department Of Health And Human Services (DHHS) might ask teachers to undergo drug testing if there is evidence that they may have used drugs during their work with children. 

Additionally, some exception to drug testing in West Virginia schools is for people working in safety-sensitive jobs, such as bus drivers and school security officers. Moreover, the teachers are subjected to drug testing if they have a history of felony offenses or have been to prison for any drug-related crime in the past three years. 

In case of a failed drug test, the school district might suspend the teacher or terminate their employment contract.

Top Companies And Agencies That Drug Test In West Virginia

Many private and public organizations require drug testing for their prospective employees. These companies and agencies include:

  1. Toyota Motor Manufacturing: Toyota Motor Manufacturing, West Virginia, is the third-largest automobile manufacturing company globally. It tests its employees to ensure that only healthy and fit workers work in its manufacturing unit.
  2. Family Dollar: Family Dollar, a chain of retail stores, drug tests all employees. It requires that all employees undergo a urine drug test before hiring.
  3. Weatherford: Weatherford, a drilling company, drug tests all its employees. It also has a drug rehabilitation program that provides help to those who are using drugs. Additionally, it has a drug testing policy and also allows employers to fire employees if they are found to have been using illegal substances.
  4. Precision Coil, Inc.: Precision Coil, Inc., a company that manufactures wire, does not initially drug test its employees. However, it has recently implemented a drug testing policy. 
  5. EchoStar: EchoStar, a satellite communications company that employs many workers, follows a drug testing policy to maintain a drug-free workplace.
  6. ResCare: ResCare, a privately held company, has a drug testing policy that applies to all its employees. It follows a medical policy and provides appropriate counseling to help employees addicted to drugs. 
  7. Culligan Water: Culligan Water, a water filtration company, has a drug testing policy for all its employees. They also offer drug rehabilitation programs and provide counseling for employees addicted to drugs. 
  8. US Cellular: US Cellular, a mobile network operator company, drug tests all its full-time employees. It also has a drug testing policy applicable to all its employees and is used according to federal and state laws.
  9. Massey Energy: Massey Energy, a coal mining company, drug tests all its employees. Its drug testing policy is only applicable to its employees and does not apply to contractors.
  10. US Silica Co.: US Silica Co., a provider of industrial minerals, has a drug testing policy. It has a zero-tolerance policy for all its employees and provides an employee assistance program to help those addicted to drugs.

10 Jobs In West Virginia That Don't Drug Test

Many jobs in West Virginia do not drug test their employees. These jobs include:

  1. Teacher: Teachers at West Virginia public schools do not have to take a drug test. However, they must undergo a background check before employment.
  2. Newspaper Carrier: Newspaper carriers in West Virginia do not have to take a drug test to get a job. However, they must undergo a background check.
  3. Mail Carrier: There is no law requiring mail carriers to undergo drug tests in West Virginia. 
  4. Cosmetologists: Cosmetologists in West Virginia do not have to take a drug test as part of their licensing process. They must go through training before their employment starts, but there are no drug testing requirements for licensure.
  5. Pharmacists: Pharmacists in West Virginia are not required to take a drug test before hiring. There are additional licensing requirements, but the state does not require them to undergo a drug test.
  6. Liquor Store Clerk: Liquor store clerks in West Virginia do not have to take a drug test before hiring. Additionally, the state does not require liquor store clerks to undergo random testing.
  7. Pipeliner: A Pipeliner is usually required to take a drug test as part of their licensing process. However, West Virginia does not have any legislation requiring this.
  8. Legal Assistant: Legal assistants work in law offices in West Virginia and do not have to take a drug test before hiring. They undergo an additional background check as part of their licensing process.
  9. Meter Reader: Meter readers work for the electric company and do not have to take a drug test before hiring. They undergo an additional background check as part of their licensing process.
  10. Retail Clerks: Retail clerks work in retail stores, convenience stores, and gas stations. They do not have to take a drug test during the hiring process.

West Virginia Employer Drug Testing Laws

State government and local government employers in West Virginia must comply with the West Virginia Drug Testing Law. The law sets out specific standards on drug testing, when it may be conducted, and how to administer it.

The law applies to all public sector workers in the state. Background checks are not regulated under this law but may fall under another set of laws.

The state also requires that private employers who are contractors for any public sector employers comply with this law. In West Virginia, drug testing may be needed for the following situations:

  • When a job applicant has been offered a job and is awaiting the drug test results
  • Before the beginning of employment, if there is reasonable suspicion that illegal drugs impair an employee.
  • If an employer permits drug testing, it may be performed during employment, as long as this is permitted by federal law.
  • When a current employee is transferred to a position that will require them to use, handle, or be in contact with controlled substances.
  • There is reasonable suspicion that a worker has violated the standards of conduct outlined in the employer's drug-free workplace policy.
  • Post-accident, in case the employee or anyone working is hurt or injured.

The Act went into a significant change in the privacy rights of West Virginia workers. The Act also protects employers from liability stemming from their drug testing policies. 

The employer cannot be held responsible for creating a hostile work environment, nor can an employer be sued if a worker is using illegal drugs. West Virginia employers can now conduct drug testing in the workplace without "proving" their actions.

What Might Happen On Failing A Drug Test On Probation In West Virginia?

If a person is on probation in West Virginia, the judge may require that particular person to submit to random drug testing. A probationer who fails this type of test will likely have their probation revoked and be sent directly to prison to serve out their original sentence. 

It is also common for the judge or prosecutor to add additional charges that could result in even more time behind bars. However, if the probationer completes a drug rehabilitation program, parole can be reinstated at its conclusion. 

Additionally, in West Virginia, it is the right of the probationer to have the urine sample independently tested. It can be used to prove that the drugs in their system are prescription medication and not illicit drugs, which may result in changes in their charges entirely. 

An attorney can help probationers with legal advice on these charges and get their original sentence reinstated or reduced.


Employers have the right to implement drug testing programs in West Virginia. The state has passed laws that outline the specific circumstances in which drug testing may be administered and how it should be conducted. Employers must follow these laws and adhere to the standards set out by the courts for performing drug testing in West Virginia.

Drug testing is an integral part of many industries and will continue to become more popular as time goes on. It makes it even more critical for employers to ensure that their drug testing programs are legal and administered properly.


Is random drug testing legal in West Virginia?

Yes, random drug testing is legal in West Virginia. Employers must adhere to certain circumstances and standards when conducting drug testing. However, for specific safety-sensitive jobs, drug testing is required.

What are the employer's MMJ policies in West Virginia?

The West Virginia employers have the right to have MMJ policies. However, they cannot allow their employees to come to work or remain at work under the influence of MMJ. 

Employers must have these policies in place and make it clear to their employees that they can be fired if they bring MMJ into the workplace. It does not apply when an employee uses medical MMJ for a medical condition with a prescription from a licensed physician.

Are DOT drug tests required in West Virginia?

No, DOT drug tests are not required in West Virginia, as the state is not a member of the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Program. However, if an employer wants to participate in this program, they can request their employees to be tested for drugs post-accident or incident.

Older Post Newer Post