Texas Alcohol & Drugs: What you need to know

Some states have comprehensive laws that regulate or prohibit drug testing in private-sector workplaces, but Texas does not have such a law. Texas employers are therefore free to implement drug-testing programs at their own discretion. See the national ADA analysis for information on developing a drug-testing program.

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Regulations for the transportation industry require alcohol and drug testing. In accordance with appropriate guidelines, an employer required to conduct alcohol and drug testing of an employee who holds a commercial driver's license must report the following to the state Department of Public Safety:

  • A valid positive result on an alcohol or drug test and whether the positive result was a dilute specimen;
  • A refusal by an employee to provide a specimen for an alcohol or drug test; and
  • An adulterated or substituted specimen was provided for an alcohol or drug test.

The confidentiality of the records must be maintained by the department for those employees holding a commercial driver's license and may be released only to the holder of the license, the holder's current employer, or a person acting on behalf of the employer if the department receives the holder's specific written consent to the release of information.

The Texas Commission on Human Rights Act, which applies to all public employers and to private employers with 15 or more employees, specifically excludes current addiction to alcohol, drugs, illegal substances, or federally controlled substances from its protection under the disability discrimination provisions (TX Lab. Code Sec. 21.001 et seq.).

Current use of illegal drugs is not a protected disability under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA

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