Idaho Drug Testing Laws 2024

  1. Idaho Cannabis
  2. Idaho Marijuana Laws
  3. Idaho Drug Testing Laws

Idaho Drug Testing Laws 2024

The Employer Alcohol and Drug-Free Workplace Act governs workplace drug testing in Idaho. The Act was enacted in 1997 to promote drug-free workplaces in Idaho in line with the state's uncompromising stance against cannabis. It empowers employers to test employees and job applicants for the use of drugs as a condition of hiring or continued employment. However, the law is generally lax on many of its requirements, leaving several drug testing decisions to the discretion of employers. However, federal legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides further regulations about workplace drug testing in the state.

What Kinds of Drug Tests Can Employers Conduct in Idaho?

Employers in Idaho can test employees and job applicants for the use of drugs listed under the Idaho Uniform Controlled Substances. Such substances include marijuana, heroin, cocaine, LSD, amphetamines, and barbiturates. Idaho laws permit employers to implement workplace drug tests under various circumstances, including the following:

  • Pre-Employment Testing: Before commencing employment, employers may request job candidates to undergo drug testing, typically following a conditional offer of employment
  • Post-accident Testing: This type of test is carried out after a workplace accident to ascertain whether drug use played a role in the incident
  • Random Testing: A selection of individuals from the entire employee pool may be subjected to random drug testing
  • Reasonable Suspicion Testing: If a supervisor reasonably suspects that an employee is working under the influence of drugs, the employer may require the employee to undergo testing

Whichever test type an Idaho employer intends to adopt must be stipulated in the employer’s written policy on workplace drug testing. Also, the test procedures and sample collection must be in line with the provisions of the state’s Drug-Free Workplace Act. Notably, section 1704 of the Act provides that samples should be collected under sanitary and reasonable conditions, and the test should conform to scientifically accepted methods. Samples commonly requested for cannabis tests include saliva, hair follicles, urine, and, in some instances, blood. Idaho laws do not impose restrictions on the types of specimens that can be collected for workplace drug testing.

Can Employers Do Random Drug Testing in Idaho?

Yes, employers can do random workplace drug testing in Idaho pursuant to section 1705 of the Idaho Employer Alcohol and Drug-free Workplace Act. As a result, an employer may select test subjects from a pool of all employees as long as it is stipulated in the employer’s written policy. However, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from singling out certain groups of employees for drug testing based on race, age, or gender.

What Happens if You Fail a Drug Test in Idaho for a Job?

Idaho law grants employers the authority to take various disciplinary actions against employees who fail workplace drug tests. This may include mandatory rehabilitation programs, suspension without pay, and termination of employment. If an employee loses their job or is denied employment due to a positive drug test, they may not qualify for unemployment compensation benefits. Likewise, failure of a post-accident drug test may disqualify an employee from getting workers' compensation benefits.

However, an employer cannot take action based solely on a positive initial test without conducting a confirmatory test on the same specimen. Employers are also required to provide written notification to any employee or prospective employee who tests positive for drugs, specifying the substance involved. Following the notification, the employee must be allowed to discuss and explain the result with a medical review officer or other qualified individual.

Also, individuals with positive test results have the right to request a retest within seven working days. The cost of the retest is potentially borne by the employee. If the retest yields a negative outcome, the employer is obligated to reimburse testing expenses and reverse any disciplinary actions taken against the employee.

Can I Be Fired for Refusing a Drug Test in Idaho?

Yes, employees who refuse workplace drug tests in Idaho can be subject to disciplinary measures, including dismissal from work. The affected employee may however contest this decision if they believe they have been wrongfully dismissed by contacting an experienced Idaho employment attorney for help.

Can You Get Fired for Failing a Drug Test with a Medical Card in Idaho?

Cannabis is illegal in Idaho. As such, the state does not run a medical marijuana program or issue medical marijuana cards. The state’s workplace drug testing law also does not address lawful prescriptions. However, it gives individuals the right to explain a positive test result. Furthermore, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prevents employers from acting on positive tests arising from an individual’s use of lawfully prescribed medication. However, this protection does not extend to the abuse of prescription drugs.

Can Employers Conduct Drug Tests on Applicants in Idaho?

Idaho law does not explicitly address drug testing during job candidates at the interview phase. In general, employers in Idaho have the authority to administer drug tests to job applicants before hiring. The law does not stipulate the specific stage at which the employer can request the test. Nevertheless, an employer's written policy must clearly outline information about the test and its procedures. It is important to note that failing a cannabis test or refusing to undergo testing can serve as grounds for denying employment in Idaho.

Is Pre-Employment Drug Testing Allowed in Idaho?

Idaho law permits employers to conduct drug testing for new employees as a condition for official resumption to work. As a result, they may be requested to undergo drug testing before starting work, regardless of any suspicion of drug use. The decision to conduct pre-employment testing is entirely at the discretion of the employer, as compliance with Idaho's pre-employment drug testing law is optional. Employers opting for pre-employment drug testing must include this requirement in their written policy on workplace drug testing.

Does Idaho Allow Public Agencies to Submit Employees to Workplace Drug Tests?

Idaho workplace drug testing laws apply to employers and employees in the private and public sectors. Section 1715 of the Idaho Employer Alcohol and Drug-Free Workplace Act grants public agencies in the state the liberty to conduct workplace drug tests. However, such tests must adhere to the provisions of the Act and must not be unconstitutional. Additionally, Idaho law makes it mandatory for contractors bidding for government projects to have a drug-free workplace program. This requirement also applies to subcontractors under the same project. The contractors and subcontractors must ensure that their drug-free programs are in place throughout the duration of executing the project.

Can Employers Choose to Create Drug-Free Workplace Policies?

Employers have the authority to establish drug-free workplaces in accordance with Idaho's workplace drug-free law. While this is a voluntary measure for most employers under the state’s law, it is mandatory for government contractors and their subcontractors.

To be considered valid, a drug-free workplace policy in Idaho must be put in writing and be in line with the requirements of the state’s Employer Alcohol and Drug-Free Workplace Act. The policy must also specify that a violation may result in termination for misconduct. A written policy is also deemed valid if it aligns with terms negotiated between the employer and employees collectively, even if it does not fully comply with the Act. It is important to note that employers cannot rely on a drug-free policy unless it has been communicated to the affected employees and prospective employees.

Employees Exempted From Idaho Workplace Drug Testing Laws

Despite the wide scope of Idaho's workplace drug testing law, it does not make provisions for federal employees. Hence, Idaho laws cannot be used as a basis for testing federal workers in the state for cannabis use. Nonetheless, several federal agencies have workplace drug-free programs that enable them to conduct cannabis testing on their employees and contractors.

What are the Requirements for Drug Testing Labs in Idaho?

Idaho law does not specify what kinds of laboratory employers may contract for workplace drug testing. Instead, it provides general requirements for sample collection and the testing procedure. It also permits employers to rely on test results from third parties, including law enforcement agencies and hospitals.

Generally, clinical laboratories in Idaho require a certification from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). To obtain the certification, a laboratory operator must complete the CMS-116 Form. However, laboratories that perform employment-related drug testing are generally not subject to CMS regulation.

In this section: