How to Stay Compliant With New York Mandates on Drug Testing

Drug testing varies state by state, so for this reason it’s very important that you become educated on the rules, laws and limitations on drug testing in your specific state. In 2021, it became legal to use marijuana for recreational use in New York state, which means that New York State employers can no longer screen for this substance. There is one exception, however, and that is for DOT drug screening for government employees. Due to the nature of their positions, the normal DOT screening is industry standard.  Staying compliant with New York mandates on drug testing can be confusing, so here are some tips for staying current.

1. Keep Your Eye on the News
Keeping up with news and current events in New York State, can help ensure that you’re up to date with any law changes or mandates that may implicate drug testing in your state. New York drug testing laws don’t change very often, so when there’s a considerable change it will likely get a lot of air time, making it easier to notice these big changes. If you don’t follow the news, it may be worthwhile to regularly check in with your HR department to keep on top of any changes.

2. Understand How Drug Law Changes Influence the Workforce
The workplace drug testing laws in New York were changed when marijuana was legalized for recreational use, which means that now a New York employer is prohibited from allowing a positive marijuana drug test to influence their hiring decisions. Employers are also prohibited from performing a drug test to detect marijuana use. There are certain sensitive industries that are exempt from these rules, such as the NYPD. It is important that New York Employers review the specific information based on their sector.

3. When in Doubt, Check
Drug testing is for obvious reasons, a very sensitive subject and it’s important as an employer that you manage everything correctly. If you’re not sure what current laws are in your state, be sure to research before ordering any tests. Testing laboratories are required by New York State Law to follow clinical laboratory permit regulations established by the New York Department of Health, which means that all laboratories offering drug tests are authorized to do so and will offer the same standard of testing.

4. DOT Drug Testing
The Department of Transport (DOT) has its own rules about drug testing and what tests are included. Due to the health and safety aspect of this industry, it’s even more important that the employees are drug free when performing their jobs as the public sphere relies on them. There are a number of jobs that fall into this category such as flight crew, the U.S Coast Guard, Railroad workers, Commercial Drivers and so forth. DOT drug testing is standardized across the  US, ensuring that both the test and reports follow the same standard. 

While it may feel overwhelming to stay compliant with New York mandantes on drug testing, it is important for your company to do so. Hopefully these tips help you feel more confident about adhering to the relevant drug testing mandates.