Workplace Drug Testing Laws in Colorado

When it comes to Colorado drug testing laws, private employers are given the freedom to decide if they want to put workplace policies in place to maintain a drug-free workplace. According to Colorado drug testing compliance laws, they are allowed to fire an employee who tests positive for drugs, including marijuana, which is legal in the state but still illegal under federal law. The employer must, however, inform employees about their drug testing regulations in their written workplace policies.

Do Colorado state employees get drug tested? Colorado drug testing laws differ for state and federal employees. Under federal law, employers that have workers in certain safety-sensitive positions, including transportation, the aviation industry and contractors for the defense department and NASA must undergo regular drug testing. There is also a universal drug and alcohol policy for state workers, governed by various federal laws, state executive orders and state statutes.

One important area in Colorado drug testing compliance laws is unemployment compensation. Employers in the state are not required to pay their share of unemployment benefits if they terminate an employee who tested positive on a drug test, so long as the test was conducted in accordance with the company's workplace policies and the employee was provided prior written notice.

Although private employers are not bound by any specific Colorado drug testing laws, they are required to comply with federal anti-discrimination and privacy laws.

To register for a drug test, simply sign up using the button below. To register via phone, or if you have any questions, we can be reached at (888) 378-2499.

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Colorado Drug Testing Compliance

Colorado Drug Testing Laws Without Restrictions

Drug Test Issue Remarks
Instant or POCT Testing On-site drug testing is not specified by any Colorado statute.
Random Testing There are no restrictions, but employers must provide a written copy of the workplace drug testing policy to all employees, stating procedures on random drug testing.
Specimens Tested Specimens allowed for drug testing are not mentioned in any Colorado drug testing law.
Substances Screened In the absence of any list of substances that can or cannot be tested for, Colorado employers may screen for any substances.
Testing for Alcohol There is no law in the state of Colorado that prohibits an employer from testing employees for alcohol use.

Conditional Colorado Drug Testing Laws

Drug Test Issue Remarks
Recreational Marijuana
Although recreational marijuana is legal in Colorado, employers are still free to implement drug-free workplace policies, since marijuana is still considered illegal under federal law.
Employees may be terminated for the use of marijuana during non-working hours if the employer chooses to do so.
Medical Marijuana
Employers in Colorado do not need to allow medical marijuana or accommodate medical marijuana in the workplace.
Employers do not need to tolerate employees being under the influence while on the job.
Employers can terminate an employee for medical marijuana use during non-working hours. Even though state law allows the use of medical marijuana, federal law does not, and employees are not protected.
Workers Comp
Employers in Colorado choose whether or not to drug test following an accident or injury on the job.
Employers cannot discourage an employee from seeking a workers' comp claim with the threat of a drug test.
The employer pays for drug testing at a certified lab, and keeps a specimen sample for the worker to purchase a second drug test
If the drug test is positive, it's assumed that the worker was intoxicated at the time of the injury, unless there is clear evidence proving otherwise, and the worker's wage replacement is reduced by 50 percent.
Laboratories The only Colorado law that requires an employer to use a certified lab for drug testing is with a post-accident test for workers' compensation purposes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Colorado state employees get drug tested?

For most employers, workplace drug testing laws in Colorado do not encourage or prohibit drug testing. Employers are responsible for developing drug-free workplace policies if they choose to. Safety-sensitive industries, such as healthcare, transportation, and law enforcement, likely drug test their employees, and may have to comply with federal law.

What does the state of Colorado drug test?

Since there's a lack of drug testing legislation in Colorado, employers do not have laws governing what can or cannot be tested. Each employer is responsible for developing workplace policies and providing their policies, in writing, to each employee.

Other Services We Provide in Colorado

If you're looking for drug testing information related to a specific city in the state of Colorado, try taking a look at our Colorado clinic locations page. From there, you can select your city's drug testing or DNA testing page to learn more.

We also offer Colorado Background Checks. For more information, visit our Colorado background check page.

This Information Is Not Intended for Legal Purposes

The information provided on this page is intended for your own knowledge, and should not be used for legal matters. Please seek the advice of a legal expert regarding legal advice for drug testing laws in your state.


Guerin, Lisa. "Colorado Drug Testing Laws." NOLO,
"What Colorado Employers Need to Know About Marijuana and Workers' Compensation." Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce,
"Drug Testing: What Colorado Employers Need to Know." Obsidian HR, 16 August 2021,
"Americans with Disabilities Act." U.S. Department of Labor,
"Drug and Alcohol Policy for State Employees." Colorado Division of Human Resources,