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The Ultimate Guide to Drug Testing Laws in Arizona

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Drug testing in the workplace is a common practice that helps employers maintain a safe and productive environment. In the state of Arizona, drug testing is allowed under certain circumstances, but there are also legal considerations that employers must be aware of. This comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to know about drug testing laws in Arizona. From the types of drug tests allowed to the rights of employees, we’ll cover it all.

Drug Testing Laws in Arizona

Understanding Drug Testing Laws in Arizona

Drug testing laws in Arizona are governed by state and federal regulations. While federal law does not require or prohibit drug tests for most employers, Arizona has its own set of laws that provide guidance on drug testing practices.

Voluntary Drug Testing Law

Arizona has a voluntary drug testing law, which means that companies can choose whether or not to implement drug testing policies. However, if an employer wishes to qualify for limited legal protections, they must comply with this law. Other employers are not mandated to comply with this statute.

Unemployment Compensation Denial

Arizona has an unemployment compensation law that contains its own drug testing requirements. In order to deny unemployment compensation claims, employers must follow these guidelines. An individual may be ineligible for benefits if they are discharged for misconduct.

Marijuana Laws

In Arizona, employees may not be under the influence of marijuana while at work. However, employers cannot discriminate against individuals based on their status as a medical marijuana cardholder or a registered qualifying patient’s positive drug test for marijuana, unless the patient used, possessed, or was impaired by marijuana on the premises or during working hours.

Major Case Law Decision

In the case of Whitmire v. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the court ruled that an employer must establish a “good faith basis” to believe that an employee with a medical marijuana license and a positive drug test result was actually impaired at work. Simply interpreting the results of a drug test conducted by a non-expert employee is not sufficient. This case highlights the importance of establishing impairment through expert opinion before taking action based on a positive drug test.

How to Test

When conducting drug tests in Arizona, employers must ensure that testing occurs during, immediately before, or immediately after a regular work period. Testing time is considered work time for purposes of compensation and benefits for current employees.

Drug Testing Laws for Job Applicants

Employers in Arizona have the right to require job applicants to take a drug test as a condition of employment. However, this requirement is not mandatory and employers must inform applicants if drug testing will be required. If an applicant refuses to submit to a drug test, the employer may refuse to hire them.

Drug Testing Laws for Employees

Arizona employers are allowed, but not required, to drug test their employees. Drug testing is permitted for any job-related purpose consistent with business necessity, including maintaining productivity, safety, quality, security, conducting accident investigations, investigating possible employee impairment, or based on reasonable suspicion of drug use. Random drug testing is also allowed in Arizona.

Notice and Procedural Rights for Employees

Employers in Arizona who conduct drug testing must adopt a drug testing policy and provide it to employees before testing. The policy must include specific information about the testing program, including the consequences of testing positive or refusing to submit to testing. The employer must also follow specific procedures for specimen collection, testing, and maintaining confidentiality. If an employee tests positive, the result must be confirmed by a second test using a different chemical process.

Legal Claims Arising From Drug Testing

While employers have the legal right to conduct drug tests in Arizona, employees and applicants may have legal claims based on how the test was conducted, who was tested, or how the results were used. Some potential legal claims include violation of state laws and procedures, disability discrimination, other discrimination claims, invasion of privacy, and defamation. It is important for employers to follow all applicable laws and procedures to minimize the risk of legal action.

Additional Resources and Support

If you have further questions or need legal assistance regarding drug testing laws in Arizona, there are resources available to help. Nolo provides legal information and books on various topics, including employment law. Additionally, if you need personalized advice, you can reach out to a lawyer specializing in employment law.

In order to initiate the necessary procedures, it is advisable to take the initiative and for the purpose of undergoing a thorough examination.


Understanding drug testing laws in Arizona is essential for both employers and employees. By following the guidelines and procedures outlined in this guide, employers can ensure compliance with the law while maintaining a safe and productive work environment. Employees, on the other hand, can be aware of their rights and take appropriate action if they believe their rights have been violated. Drug testing, when conducted properly and within the boundaries of the law, can contribute to a drug-free workplace and promote the well-being of everyone involved.

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