Oklahoma Drug Testing Laws 2024

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Oklahoma Drug Testing Laws 2024

Otherwise called the Standards for Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Act (SWDATA), Title 40 of the Oklahoma Statutes contains the state's workplace drug testing regulations. The Act, while not requiring or encouraging employers to conduct drug testing, allows public and private employers in the state to establish drug testing programs.

The Act only permits drug testing in specific scenarios and requires that employers adopt written policies outlining the specifics of their drug testing programs before requiring applicants or employees to undergo drug testing. An employer who implements a drug testing policy or changes its policy must provide at least 10 days' notice to its employees and provide a copy of its policy to each applicant upon their acceptance of employment.

Employers can take adverse actions, such as termination, if an employee fails a test or refuses to undergo a test. State laws provide protections for medical marijuana cardholders who test positive for marijuana except in limited circumstances. Also, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, employees with medical marijuana cards may be able to enjoy the protections offered by the Act if they test positive for marijuana due to using marijuana to manage recognized disabilities.

What Kinds of Drug Tests Can Employers Conduct in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma employers can collect hair, urine, blood, and saliva samples from applicants and employees for drug testing only in specific circumstances outlined under the Oklahoma Standard for Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Act. These specific conditions include:

  • Applicant and transfer or reassignment testing: An employer may require an applicant to submit to a drug testing as a condition for a job offer
  • For cause-testing: An employer may request an employee to undergo drug testing at any time the employer believes that the employee may be under the influence of drugs
  • Post-accident testing: An employer may require an employee to undergo drug testing if the employee or another individual has sustained an injury at the workplace or property has been damaged while at work, including damage to equipment
  • Random testing: An employee may be required to undergo an unannounced drug testing, especially if they are police or peace officers, have drug rehabilitation responsibilities, are authorized to possess firearms, are engaged in activities directly affecting the safety of others, are working for a public hospital, or are working in direct contact with inmates in the custody of the Department of Corrections
  • Scheduled, fitness-for-duty, return from leave, and other periodic drug testing: A public or private employer may require an employee to undergo drug testing if the screening is conducted as a routine part of a routinely scheduled employee fitness-for-duty medical assessment or is requested by the employer in connection with an employee's return to duty from leave of absence, or which is scheduled routinely as part of the employer's written policy
  • Post-rehabilitation testing: An employer may require an employee to undergo drug testing for a period of up to 2 years commencing with the employee's return to work, following a positive drug test or participation in a drug treatment program

Oklahoma workplace drug testing laws allow employers to test applicants and employees for the use of banned substances such as amphetamines, cocaine, cannabinoids, phencyclidine, hallucinogens, opiates, barbiturates, methaqualone, benzodiazepines, designer drugs, synthetic narcotics, or a metabolite of any of the listed substances.

Can Employers Do Random Drug Testing in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma drug testing laws allow public and private employers to require employees or all members of an employment group to undergo drug testing at random. State law allows employers to limit their random testing programs to specific employment classifications or groups, except that a public employer may request random testing only of employees who:

  • Are peace or police officers
  • Are permitted to carry firearms
  • Are engaged in activities that directly impact the safety of others
  • Have drug interdiction responsibilities
  • Are working for a public hospital, including a hospital owned or operated by a county, municipality, or public trust
  • Work in direct contact with inmates put in the care of the Department of Corrections or with juvenile delinquents or children who require supervision in the custody of the Department of Human Services

What Happens if You Fail a Drug Test in Oklahoma for a Job?

In accordance with Section 40-562 of the Oklahoma Standard for Workplace Drug Testing Act, an applicant or employee may be penalized with a range of adverse employment acts, up to and including denial of employment or employment if the applicant or employee fails a drug test.

Can I Be Fired for Refusing a Drug Test in Oklahoma?

Per Section 40-562 of the Oklahoma Standard for Workplace Drug Testing Act, an employer may take disciplinary action, including discharge, against an employee who refuses to undergo drug testing conducted in accordance with Section 551 et seq. of the Act. However, an employer's policy must state the disciplinary actions that may be taken upon a refusal to submit to a drug test.

Can You Get Fired for Failing a Drug Test with a Medical Card in Oklahoma?

Per Oklahoma law, employers are in the state are not permitted to refuse to hire, terminate, or penalize an applicant or employee based on their status as a medical marijuana user or cardholder or for a positive cannabis drug test result except:

  • The employer would lose federal funding, risk federal licensing, or is subject to a federally mandated drug testing
  • The applicant or employer does not have a valid OMMA patient license
  • The employee is in possession or consuming cannabis and under the influence of cannabis at work
  • The position involves a safety-sensitive job position

The state defines a safety-sensitive job as any job that includes duties or tasks that the employer reasonably believes may affect the health and safety of the employee performing the duties or others, including but not limited to:

  • The handling, processing, packaging, storage, disposal, or transport of hazardous chemicals or materials
  • Performing firefighting duties
  • The operation of a vehicle, equipment, machinery, or power tools
  • Repairing, maintaining, or monitoring the operation of equipment, machinery, or manufacturing process, the malfunction of which may result in injury or property damage
  • The operation, maintenance, or administration of critical services and infrastructure, such as electric, gas, and water utilities, power generation or distribution
  • The extraction, compression, processing, manufacturing, handling, packaging, or transport of potentially volatile, combustible materials, chemicals, elements, or any other highly regulated component
  • Carrying a firearm
  • Dispensing pharmaceuticals
  • Direct patient care or direct child care

Can Employers Conduct Drug Tests on Applicants in Oklahoma?

In accordance with Oklahoma laws, a public or private employer may require an applicant to undergo drug testing. However, the employer must first adopt a written policy setting forth the specifics of the drug testing program.

Is Pre-Employment Drug Testing Allowed in Oklahoma?

Oklahoma's Standard for Workplace for Drug and Alcohol Testing Act allows but does not mandate employers to drug test applicants. Under Section 40-552 of the SWDATA, the state defines an applicant as a person who has applied for a position and received a conditional employment offer. Hence, an Oklahoma employer can legally require a pre-employment drug test as a condition for an employment offer.

Does Oklahoma Allow Public Agencies to Submit Employees to Workplace Drug Tests?

Oklahoma’s Standard for Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Act applies to public and private employers. State and local government employees can enjoy the protection provisions available under the SWDATA.

Can Employers Choose to Create Drug-Free Workplace Policies?

Employers in Oklahoma have the legal right to create and enforce drug-free workplace policies. These policies typically include provisions related to drug possession and use in workplace environments and drug testing, outlining the circumstances under which employees may be tested for drug use. Employers may also specify the consequences, such as disciplinary actions or termination, for violating drug testing policies.

Employees Exempted From Oklahoma Workplace Drug Testing Laws

According to Section 40-553 of the Oklahoma SWDATA, drug testing required by and conducted pursuant to federal laws or regulations may be exempt from the provisions of the SWDATA. Hence, federal employees, such as federal contractors, commercial driver licensees, and federal law enforcement agents working in Oklahoma, are subject to federal workplace drug policies and testing.

What are the Requirements for Drug Testing Labs in Oklahoma?

Testing laboratories that may be used for drug testing in Oklahoma must meet the qualifications established for testing facilities under Section 7 of the SWDATA and be licensed by the Oklahoma Department of Health to perform such tests. The State Department of Health requires laboratories to pay an annual fee of no more than $150 to maintain a valid license.

Also, per Section 40-557 of the SWDATA, drug testing facilities conducting urine analysis tests must be certified for forensic urine drug testing under the federal Department of Health and Human Services regulations or be accredited for forensic urine drug screening by the College of American Pathologists or other organizations approved by the State Board of Health. Typically, Oklahoma employers use state-approved laboratories certified by the SAMHSA or CAP or other organizations recognized by the Oklahoma State Board of Health.

Per Section 40-558 of the SWDATA, any testing laboratory providing drug testing services to an employer that is not licensed by the Oklahoma Department of Health is subject to an administrative fine of no more than $500 for each offense. Each drug test performed by the unlicensed testing lab in violation of the SWDATA constitutes a separate offense.

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