Tennessee Alcohol & Drugs: What you need to know

With exceptions in specific industries (discussed below), the state has no law that regulates or requires drug testing in the private sector; however, employers should be sensitive to the privacy issues involved in conducting such testing.

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The Workers' Compensation Premium Reduction Act allows a 5 percent discount on workers' compensation premiums to employers who implement drug-free workplace programs in compliance with the Act. The program must include a written policy with specific information, strict procedures regarding collection of samples and evaluation, and confidentiality of results (TN Code Sec. 50-9-101et seq.).

Written Policy

A copy of the written policy must be provided to applicants and employees. Employers must allow 60 days to elapse between giving notice and implementing the program. The written policy must include:

  • A general policy statement regarding drug use
  • The types of testing an employer will require and the consequences of a positive test result or a refusal to submit to testing
  • A notification of the existence of the Act
  • A confidentiality statement
  • Procedures for contesting or explaining a positive test result
  • A list of drugs for which the employer tests
  • Procedures for reporting use of medications and a list of common medications that may affect a drug test
  • A list of employee assistance and rehabilitation programs

Employers must include notice of drug and alcohol testing on vacancy announcements for jobs in which drug and alcohol testing is required. A notice of the employer's policy must be posted in an appropriate and conspicuous place. Copies of the policy must be made available for inspection by employees and applicants during regular business hours. Notice must ...

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