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The Top 5 Things to Know About Drug Testing in: Georgia

Posted on Tuesday, February 7th, 2023

By Jessica Polk, Senior Director of Marketing Services at Current Consulting Group (CCG)

This information is provided for educational purposes only. Reader retains full responsibility for the use of the information contained herein.

From the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Atlantic coast, Georgia is a state made up of not only landscape diversity but diverse workplace needs. So, it is no surprise that their drug testing laws allow for these workplace needs. Employers who would like to benefit from the legal protection associated with drug testing, especially as it comes to workers’ compensation and unemployment compensation denial, can choose to participate in Georgia’s voluntary drug testing program.

Below are the five important things you need to know when considering drug testing in Georgia.

Drug Testing Law Type: Voluntary. Georgia has a voluntary drug testing law. Companies that wish to qualify for a 7.5% discount on their workers’ compensation premiums must comply with this law; other companies are not mandated to comply.
Random Testing: Though an employer is not required to drug test an employee or job applicant, Georgia does not prohibit lawful testing, including random testing.
Workers’/Unemployment Compensation Denial: There are workers’ and unemployment compensation laws in Georgia that contain their own drug testing requirements. Employers are not required to comply unless they wish to deny workers’ or unemployment compensation claims.
Marijuana Laws: According to GA Code § 16-12-190¹, medical marijuana is permitted. However, nothing in the law requires employers to accommodate use of marijuana at work. The law even allows employers to prohibit on-duty and off-duty marijuana use.
How to Test: It is required that employers who choose to participate in the voluntary state program follow the testing standards and procedures set forth in GA Code § 34-9-415 (2018)². This includes pre-employment, reasonable suspicion, post-accident, periodic exam, return-to-duty, random, and follow-up, and other forms of testing which are permitted. Employers who wish to test but do not want the worker’s compensation premium discount are not obligated to follow the same procedures.

The Current Consulting Group provides extensive information about laws in each state that affect workplace drug and alcohol testing at CurrentCompliance.org. Learn how to subscribe here.

End Notes:

¹ 2018 Georgia Code Title 16 – Crimes and Offenses Chapter 12 – Offenses Against Public Health and Morals Article 8 – Regulation of Low Thc Oil § 16-12-190. Definition. JUSTIA US Law. https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2018/title-16/chapter-12/article-8/section-16-12-190/. Retrieved January 18, 2023. 

² 2018 Georgia Code Title 34 – Labor and Industrial Relations Chapter 9 – Workers’ Compensation Article 11 – Drug-Free Workplace Programs § 34-9-415. Conduct of testing; types of tests; random testing; procedures for specimen collection and testing; laboratory qualifications, procedures, and reports; confirmation tests, JUSTIA US Law. https://law.justia.com/codes/georgia/2018/title-34/chapter-9/article-11/section-34-9-415/. Retrieved January 18, 2023. 

© 2010-2023 The Current Consulting Group, LLC – No portion of this article may be reproduced, retransmitted, posted on a website, or used in any manner without the written consent of the Current Consulting Group, LLC. When permission is granted to reproduce this article in any way, full attribution to the author and copyright holder is required.

The post The Top 5 Things to Know About Drug Testing in: Georgia first appeared on ClearStar.

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