Workplace Drug Testing Laws in Washington

Workplace drug testing laws in Washington state that a private employer has the right to conduct employee drug testing under certain circumstances. In the state of Washington, drug testing legislation states that employers may require an employee to take a drug test if any of the following conditions apply:

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The employer has a specific reason to believe the employee’s performance is impaired due to the use of alcohol or drugs.
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The employee was involved in an incident or accident.
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The employer wishes to test employees who have job duties that include using a firearm, administering or dispensing medication, or who are responsible for public safety.

In addition, employee drug testing laws require employers to have a policy in place that complies with legal requirements, establishes the procedures for drug testing, and adheres to privacy requirements.

In Washingston State, a new law took effect on January 1, 2024, prohibiting employers from discriminating against job applicants based on their lawful, off-the-job use of cannabis

The information on this page does not apply to DOT-regulated drug testing. Government employers who may be subject to DOT regulations are strongly encouraged to do additional research to ensure compliance with applicable drug testing legislation.

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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Washington Drug Testing Compliance

Washington Drug Testing Laws Without Restrictions

Drug Test Issue Remarks
Recreational Marijuana Effective January 1, 2024, it is unlawful in Washington State for employers to discriminate against job applicants based on off-the-job cannabis use or the presence of nonpsychoactive cannabis metabolites in drug screenings, with exceptions for certain positions and adherence to federal laws and safety-sensitive roles.
Medical Marijuana In Washington, while medical marijuana is legal, there is no requirement for employers to accommodate its use in the workplace. From January 1, 2024, a new law prohibits discrimination against job applicants based on off-the-job cannabis use, with exceptions allowed for safety-sensitive positions where impairment could present a substantial risk.
Instant or POCT Testing There are no restrictions mentioned in Washington state drug testing laws regarding point-of-care testing.
Specimens Tested There is no legislative language that specifies the types of specimens that are allowed or not allowed for drug and alcohol testing.
Substances Screened There are no restrictions as to the substances screened for in Washington employee drug testing.
Laboratories Washington employment law does not provide guidance as to requirements for drug testing labs.

Conditional Washington Drug Testing Laws

Drug Test Issue Remarks
Random Testing Washington employers may require that their employees submit to random drug testing, so long as certain conditions are met. These include suspicion of drug use, a work incident, or for staff who dispense medication, use a firearm or are responsible for public safety.
Testing for Alcohol As with drugs, Washington employers may test for alcohol use, under certain circumstances.

Washington Drug Testing Laws With Restrictions

Drug Test Issue Remarks
Workers Comp There is no workers’ compensation insurance discount offered to employers who maintain a drug-free workplace.

Other Services We Provide in Washington

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

We also offer Washington Background Checks. For more information, visit our Washington 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.

Citations

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Guerin, Lisa. “Workplace Drug Testing in Washington.” NOLO, https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/workplace-drug-testing-washington.html
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England, Deborah C. “Now That Personal Use of Marijuana Is Legal in Washington, Can an Employer Still Test for Use?” CriminalDefenseLawyer, NOLO, https://www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/resources/now-personal-use-marijuana-legal-washington-can-emplo
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“General Statute – WAC 357-37-200 Can an employer require an employee to submit to drug/alcohol testing?” Washington State Legislature, https://app.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=357-37-200
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“Medical Marijuana – RCW 69.51A.060 Crimes–Limitations of chapter.” Washington State Legislature, https://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=69.51A.060
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Washington State Legislature. (n.d.). RCW 49.44.240: Discrimination based upon cannabis use—Exceptions. Retrieved February 21, 2024, from https://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=49.44.240
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Norml. (2024, January 2). Washington law takes effect barring pre-employment marijuana testing for most employees. NORML. https://norml.org/blog/2024/01/02/washington-new-state-law-takes-effect-barring-pre-employment-marijuana-testing-for-most-employees/
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Cannabis in the workplace faqs. MRSC. (n.d.). https://mrsc.org/explore-topics/legal/regulation/cannabis-regulation/cannabis-in-the-workplace