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The Top 5 Things to Know About Drug Testing in Utah

Posted on Wednesday, October 11th, 2023

By Current Consulting Group (CCG)

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

What do the Sundance Film Festival, Zion National Park and Park City all have in common? Aside from being some of the most famous sources of income in the country, they call Utah home. With a thriving population that is ever-growing and a jobs market that has to keep up with that demand, drug testing is more important than ever in a state like Utah.

Following are five things you need to know about what Utah is doing in drug testing.

Drug Testing Law Type: Utah is a voluntary drug testing state and does not require most companies or industries to comply with the law. Companies that wish to qualify for limited legal protection, however, must comply with the law; other companies are not mandated to comply. Requirements are also different for nuclear waste organizations.[1]
Random Testing: If an employer wishes to require random testing of their employees, the employer themselves must also submit to random testing. Additionally, testing is mandatory for organizations that operate storage or transfer facilities for nuclear waste.[2]
Workers’/Unemployment Compensation Denial: A drug or alcohol testing policy must be communicated to all employees, including a statement that a violation of the policy may result in discharge. In order to deny unemployment, all steps of the drug or alcohol testing process must be thoroughly documented.[3] In order to deny workers’ compensation claims, it must be reasonable to presume that the major contributing cause of the employee’s injury was intoxication. This can only be a reasonable conclusion if at the time of the injury, the employee had a blood or breath alcohol concentration of 0.08 grams or greater (prior to May 23, 2020). As of May 23, 2020, the cut-off level was adjusted to 0.05 grams or greater. Amended via HB 11.[4]
Marijuana Laws: Employers are not required to accommodate the use of medical marijuana and are not required to reimburse the costs of medical marijuana use by their employees. A state or political subdivision employee who has a valid medical cannabis card is not subject to retaliatory action for failing a drug test due to marijuana without evidence that the employee was impaired or otherwise adversely affected by the employee’s job performance. This does not apply to private employers, or where it would jeopardize federal funding, a federal security clearance, any other federal background determination required for the employee’s position, or if the employee’s position is dependent on a license that is subject to federal regulations.[5] There is no law that speaks on the use of recreational marijuana use.
How to Test: Employers may require reliable identification at time of collection in a manner reasonably calculated to prevent substitutions or interference with the collection or testing of a reliable sample. Testing shall occur during or immediately after the current employee’s regular work period. If the sample used for a test is a urine sample, it must be tested by a laboratory that is certified by the United States Department of Health and Human Services under the National Laboratory Certification Program.[6]

End Notes:

[1] https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title34/Chapter38/34-38.html?v=C34-38_1800010118000101

[2] Utah Code Ann. 34-38-1; 34-38-3

[3] https://adminrules.utah.gov/public/rule/R994-405/Current%20Rules?

[4] https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title34A/Chapter2/34A-2-S302.html?v=C34A-2-S302_2014040320140513

[5] https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title26/Chapter61A/26-61a.html

[6] https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title34/Chapter38/34-38.html?v=C34-38_1800010118000101

© 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. 

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