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Workplace Drug Testing Laws in Nebraska: A Comprehensive Guide

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is an important aspect of maintaining a safe and productive work environment. In Nebraska, employers are allowed to implement drug testing policies, but it is not a legal requirement. However, there are certain laws and regulations that employers should be aware of to ensure compliance and protect the rights of their employees. This comprehensive guide will provide an overview of the workplace drug testing laws in Nebraska, including the types of tests permitted, substances screened, and the implications for workers’ compensation claims.

I. Nebraska Drug Testing Laws and Compliance

Nebraska drug testing laws cover both public sector employers and private companies with at least six employees. While employers are not mandated to conduct drug testing, they have the option to establish workplace drug testing policies. It is essential for employers to be familiar with Nebraska drug testing compliance as well as federal drug testing laws, particularly for safety- and security-sensitive industries and federal contractor positions.

A. Types of Permits Issued in Nebraska

Nebraska issues different types of permits for drug testing, including:

Class A: Permit to perform a chemical test to analyze a subject’s blood for alcohol content by an approved laboratory method.

Class B: Permit to perform a chemical test to analyze a subject’s breath for alcohol content by an approved method.

Class C: Permit to perform preliminary breath tests for alcohol content by an approved method.

Class D: Permit to perform a chemical test to analyze an individual’s urine for drug content by an approved chemical laboratory method(s).

These permits ensure that drug testing is conducted accurately and in compliance with the established standards.

B. Specimens Tested and Substances Screened

Nebraska drug testing laws do not specify which specimens should be tested or the substances to be screened. However, employers should consider testing urine, as it is the most common specimen used for drug testing purposes. The substances screened for drug testing in Nebraska are not explicitly outlined under the state’s employee drug testing laws.

C. Random Testing and Instant Testing

Nebraska drug testing legislation does not address random drug testing or instant or point-of-care testing. However, employers may opt to implement these testing methods as part of their workplace drug testing policies.

D. Testing for Alcohol

Employers in Nebraska have the authority to test for alcohol in the workplace. Preliminary breath testing for alcohol does not require a permit, but positive tests must be confirmed with a licensed breath-testing-device operator. Employees who test positive for alcohol should have the option to request blood testing to confirm the results.

In order to take the first step towards evaluation, it is advised to proactively to undergo the necessary tests.

II. Conditional Aspects of Nebraska Drug Testing Laws

Certain conditional aspects of Nebraska drug testing laws should be taken into consideration by both employers and employees. These aspects include workers’ compensation claims, negligence, and the role of laboratories in confirming positive drug tests.

A. Workers’ Compensation Claims

Nebraska has specific provisions regarding workers’ compensation for employees who are injured in the workplace. According to Nebraska Revised Statute 48-102, employees are not considered negligent for an accident or injury unless they were intoxicated at the time of the incident. If an employee was intoxicated at the time of the accident, they (and their beneficiaries) may not be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

B. Intoxication Defense and Negligence

Under Nebraska Revised Statute 48-127, if an employee is injured due to intentional willful negligence or while in a state of intoxication, they are not entitled to receive compensation under the Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Act. This provision emphasizes the importance of maintaining a drug-free workplace to prevent accidents and injuries caused by substance abuse.

C. Confirmation of Positive Drug Tests

Positive drug tests must be confirmed by a hospital, clinic, or certified laboratory in Nebraska. This ensures the accuracy and reliability of the test results. Laboratories play a crucial role in the drug testing process by conducting confirmatory tests and providing scientific evidence of substance use.

III. Guidelines for Medical Marijuana and Recreational Marijuana Use in Nebraska

Nebraska has not legalized the use of recreational or medical marijuana. Recreational marijuana is illegal in the state, and there are no specific workplace drug testing laws regarding medical marijuana. Therefore, employers in Nebraska have the freedom to include marijuana screening as part of their drug testing policies, alongside other substances.

IV. Importance of Drug Testing in the Workplace

Drug testing in the workplace serves multiple purposes, including ensuring a safe work environment, preventing accidents and injuries, and promoting productivity and employee well-being. Employers have the responsibility to implement drug testing policies that comply with Nebraska drug testing laws and protect the rights of their employees.

A. Motivating Change and Managing Risk

When conducted at appropriate frequencies, drug testing can serve as a valuable tool for motivating individuals to abstain from drug use, managing risk factors, and making informed decisions. Test results provide objective measures of recent drug use, allowing supervising staff and treatment providers to tailor interventions and support individuals in their recovery journey.

B. Positive Reinforcement and Support

Drug testing programs can offer opportunities for positive reinforcement and support. Verbal praise for negative drug test results can serve as an additional source of motivation and accountability for individuals striving to maintain sobriety. Especially in challenging times, such as during the pandemic, offering empathy and encouragement can significantly impact individuals living with mental illness or recovering from substance use disorders.

C. Role of Substance Use Monitors

The Nebraska Supreme Court has introduced the position of Substance Use Monitors to enhance drug testing operations and integrate them into day-to-day case management. Substance Use Monitors work closely with Probation Officers and the Probation District to monitor substance use trends, address problematic behaviors, and provide recommendations for intervention strategies. They also play a mentoring role and assist in onboarding new Drug Technicians, ensuring the smooth operation of drug testing programs.

D. Community of Practice for Substance Use Monitors

Substance Use Monitors have the opportunity to participate in a Community of Practice, led by the Supportive Services Specialist. This forum allows professionals in the field of drug testing to share experiences, exchange knowledge, collaborate on new ideas, and problem-solve barriers. The goal is to continuously improve drug testing practices and promote lasting positive behavioral changes for safer communities.

To initiate the process, it is advisable to commence by scheduling a for the purpose of undergoing a comprehensive test.


Understanding workplace drug testing laws in Nebraska is crucial for employers, employees, and the overall well-being of the workforce. While drug testing is not mandatory in Nebraska, employers have the option to implement drug testing policies to maintain a safe and productive work environment. Compliance with Nebraska drug testing laws, including the proper issuance of permits, accurate specimen testing, and confirmation of positive results, is essential. By adhering to these guidelines, employers can promote a drug-free workplace, prevent accidents and injuries, and support individuals in their recovery journey.

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