Am I obligated to keep an applicant’s drug screening results confidential?

Keeping drug test results confidential is a good practice. Federal Laws The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 requires some federal contractors and all federal grantees to agree that they’ll have a drug-free workplace. This condition is necessary to receive the contract or grant from a federal agency. The Department of Labor has a useful tool […]

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Keeping drug test results confidential is a good practice.

Federal Laws

The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 requires some federal contractors and all federal grantees to agree that they’ll have a drug-free workplace. This condition is necessary to receive the contract or grant from a federal agency. The Department of Labor has a useful tool that can help you determine whether this act applies to you.

State Laws

State laws and other privacy laws may apply to drug test results as a matter of personal privacy. In fact, in some states, a violation of a drug test subject’s privacy could result in a mandated reinstatement to their job if they were fired for positive results.

Otherwise

The department that obtains drug test results should store them confidentially and share them only on a need-to-know basis. For hiring purposes, information beyond pass or fail shouldn’t be necessary.

Final Tips

Having a clear drug test policy is mandated in some states if you plan on submitting employees to drug tests. Make sure to define which kinds of employees may be tested and which specific situations necessitate testing. It would also be wise to note when results may need to be shared and which party they will be shared with.

Check with your employment counsel before releasing drug screening results.

Helpful Link:

Workplace Drug Testing – ACLU.org

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