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Colorado Drug Testing Compliance

Capital Denver Population 5,540,545
Largest city Denver
Area 104,094 sq mi
Criminal rate 34 crimes /10,000 people Time Zone UTC−7/-6

Colorado Employee Background Check Laws

Colorado

Legal status for workplace drug screening and alcohol testing

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

Colorado is a “Open” state, which means there are no state statutes, regulations, or known court decisions that would limit your choices for implementing a drug or alcohol testing program. Testing is your choice. However, there may be federal rules to consider that may restrict your program in other ways.

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 Marijuana Court Decisions

Employer Action:
Q1: Are there any state limitations for workplace drug screening policies?
A: No specific requirements of employer drug screening policy for Colorado.
Q2: Please choose a reason for drug and alcohol testing:
No - Exception Boulder
No - Exception Boulder
No (but must have facts) - Exception Boulder
Yes - Review OSHA new ruling - Exception Boulder
No - Exception Boulder
No - Exception Boulder
No - Exception Boulder
Q3: Are there any state requirements for test methods?
A: Safety-sensitive only. Boulder Colorado pre-employment must be split sample collections.
Q4: Are there any state requirements or limitation for drugs you can test for?
A: No. However, the law requires split specimen confirmation for Boulder.
Q5: Are there any state requirements or limitations for specific notice of result?
A: No.
Q6: Is it required to use a Certified Laboratory?
A: Strongly encouraged using a Certified Laboratory given the restrictions in some cities for drug testing.
Q7: What types of specimens can we test for?
A: No. However, in Boulder they have split specimen confirmation requirements, and certain tests can be split.
Q8: Are there restrictions for Alcohol Testing?
A: The same qualifications apply as they do for drug testing.

Did you know?

Q1. As an employer in Boulder Colorado can I test employee for all reasons for testing?

Answer is “No”.

City of Boulder

Ordinance No. 5688 (1994). 12-3-2 Post-Employment Drug Testing Requirements. No employer shall request or require from an employee any urine, blood, or other bodily fluid or tissue test for any drug or alcohol or determine an employee’s eligibility for promotion, additional compensation, transfer, disciplinary, or other personnel action.

 Correct!

Colorado Drug & Alcohol Testing Laws

In Boulder, CO a City Ordinance provides: A sufficient specimen is collected to perform two tests, and the one untested specimen is maintained until a negative test result is obtained, or, in case of a positive result, for a period of not less than one year following the date on which the specimen is collected. Further,  the Ordinance states: The employer permits the employee, at the employee’s request and expense, to contract with a laboratory meeting the National Institute of Drug Abuse Standards to have a second confirmatory test performed on an untested portion of the original specimen, subject to the same chain-of-custody assurances provided for the original test. Ordinance No. 5688 (1994) 12-3-2(d)&(i)

In Boulder, CO, a City Ordinance states: The right of an employee to obtain, immediately upon request to the employer’s custodian thereof, a copy of all records maintained of his or her initial positive confirmatory test results, and to submit written information explaining any such results. Ordinance No. 5688 (1994) 12-3-2(b)(5)

Magic Mushrooms Use: Ordinance 1-301 Denver voters approved decriminalizing to use and possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms. This doesn't mean that it is legalized, but it direct city police to treat enforcement of laws against the possession of psilocybin (magic) mushrooms as their lowest priority. Magic mushrooms are still illegal to buy, sell or possess with a lighter crime of a felony that could carry a punishment of up to a year in prison and a fine. This drug is as federal schedule 1 drug same as marijuana.

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)

Update: June 2019

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.

Colorado 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.

Colorado personal and medical use of marijuana.

Medical Use: Ballot Question 20 was approved by 54% of voters in the November 7, 2000 and it became an effective state constitutional amendment, effective June 1, 2000. Ballot Question 20 established a Constitutional Amendment establishing Article 14, authorizing the use of medical marijuana for certain patients.

Personal Use: On November 6, 2012 voters approved Amendment 64 by 55.32% permitting the legal personal use of marijuana for adults. This amendment creates an Article XVIII Section 16 in the state constitution. The first stores selling marijuana opened January 1, 2014. Nothing is intended to require an employer to permit or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale or growing of marijuana in the workplace or to affect the ability of employers to have policies restricting the use of marijuana by employees.

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

Update: November 2017

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.

KEY COURT DECISIONS
Court Case Issue Outcome Employer Limitation/ Action

The Coats v. Dish Network (Currently pending in Colorado Supreme Court).

Determine if Colorado Lawful Activities Statue was or wasn’t “lawful” activity was taken place.

Currently pending in Colorado Supreme Court.

Waiting to hear, this information will be updated once case is closed.

Update: November 2017

TO PAGETOP