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New Jersey Drug Testing Compliance

New Jersey

Legal status for workplace drug screening and alcohol testing

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Our intent is to make New Jersey drug test compliance as simple as possible. You don’t have to be a constitutional law scholar to conduct workplace drug testing in New Jersey.

New Jersey is a “mandatory” state, which means any private employer wishing to conduct drug and/or alcohol testing of non-regulated employees within this state must do so according to the Constitution, statutes, regulations, and court decisions that apply.

The rules in New Jersey do not derive from a statute specifically directed at limiting workplace drug testing. No such statute exists in New Jersey. Instead, New Jersey rules stem from related court decisions.

This overview is to introduce you to the nature and history of the state’s workplace drug testing rules and to provide a basic understanding of the compliance issues you may face when testing in this state.

Drug Testing Overview:

Employer Action:
Q1: Are there any state limitations for workplace drug screening policies?
A: No specific requirements but, having a written policy is strongly suggested based on constitutional realities in New Jersey.
Q2: Please choose a reason for drug and alcohol testing:
No
No
No (but must have facts)
Yes - Review OSHA new ruling
Limits
No
No
Q3: Are there any state requirements for test methods?
A: Privacy language in the state constitution restricts testing to reasonable suspicion situations. Random is permitted in safety-sensitive occupations per case law.
Q4: Are there any state requirements or limitation for drugs you can test for?
A: No restrictions.
Q5: Are there any state requirements or limitations for specific notice of result?
A: No restrictions.
Q6: Is it required to use a Certified Laboratory?
A: State has a laboratory licensing law that applies to drug testing.
Q7: What types of specimens can we test for?
A: No restrictions
Q8: Are there restrictions for Alcohol Testing?
A: No restrictions.

New Jersey Drug & Alcohol Testing Laws

In the 1992 Supreme Court of New Jersey case Hennessey v. Coastal Eagle Point Oil Co., the Court encountered the first case in which it was required to decide if workplace random drug testing violates an individual’s right to privacy. The answer is? It depends on the nature of the job.

Under section 16 of P.L.2009, c.307 nothing shall be construed to require a government medical assistance program or private health insurer to reimburse a person for costs associated with the medical use of marijuana, or an employer to accommodate the medical use of marijuana in any workplace. Employers can still conduct random and pre-employment drug tests for marijuana and still ban marijuana use at work. However, employers cannot refuse, hire, or discipline an employee or applicant solely based on a positive drug test for marijuana.

Employers of this state should update their workplace drug abuse policies to reflect the new law. Also, supply new supervisor training and implement new procedures. The revised policy should include the development of written notice to provide individuals who test positive for marijuana: employee is to receive notice of a positive drug test for marijuana, and donors right to provide a "legitimate medical explanation" of their authorization for the use of medical marijuana issued by the medical provider. The ability for donors to request a confirmatory retest of the original sample at donors' expense. Also, the ability to allow them three days to provide such information or request for a confirmatory retest.

ABBREVIATIONS
  • American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC)
  • Blood Alcohol concentration (BAC)
  • Breath Alcohol Test (BAT)
  • Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)
  • College of American Pathologists (CAP)
  • Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Forensic Urine Drug Testing (FUDT)
  • Medical Review officer (MRO)
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA)

Did you know?

Q1. Can I do a random testing for my employees in New Jersey?

Correct!

 

 

Answer is “Yes”

Keep in mind that testing on a random basis will depend on the nature of the job. Your company must follow the mandate of the Supreme Court, which has made it fairly clear that private employers in this state can require drug and/or alcohol tests if in balance safety must be protected. Absent a clear safety issue testing is limited to cases where there is reasonable suspicion of drug or alcohol use or possible impairment.

Disclaimer

This material is time sensitive. Contact us for updates. This information is subject to frequent change through legislative and court action.

All materials in this page and accompanying information are for general educational purposes and not intended to provide legal, scientific or medical advice. Consult with an appropriate professional to address specific issues.

Marijuana:

New Jersey Marijuana Employer Guidelines

“Recreational vs. personal” use of marijuana: We recognize that a majority of the country uses the term “recreational use” when referring to states that have legalized possession and use of limited amounts of marijuana for those over 21.

New Jersey personal and medical use of marijuana.

Marijuana Drug Testing Compliance

Medical Use: Governor signed A20 on July 2, 2019, the Governor signed A20 which removes the name Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, and is now named Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. It is unlawful for an employer to take any adverse employment action against an employee who is a registered patient based solely on the employee's status. If an employer has a drug testing policy and the applicant tests positive for marijuana employer may give the applicant opportunity to present a legitimate medical explanation.

Personal Use: New Jersey’s state constitution was amended to make recreational marijuana use lawful, providing regulatory authority to Cannabis Regulatory Commission effective 01/01/2021. However, the authority must be authorized by “law enacted by Legislature.”  Employees are prohibited from using, possessing, and impairment during working hours.

For more information regarding marijuana at work refer to Info Cubic’s Drug Screening compliance corner.

Disclaimer

This material is time sensitive. Contact us for updates. This information is subject to frequent change through legislative and court action.

All materials in this page and accompanying information are for general educational purposes and not intended to provide legal, scientific or medical advice. Consult with an appropriate professional to address specific issues.

Court Decisions:

KEY COURT DECISIONS
Court Case Issue Outcome Employer Limitation/ Action

Hennessy VS. Coastal Eagle Point Oil Company

  1. Common-law invastion of privacy
  2. Wrongful discharge in violation of public policy

Coastal Eagle Point Oil Company. Employee was at-will employee.

Company rewrote policy to prohibit on-premises alcohol, drugs and controlled substances.

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