Wisconsin Alcohol & Drugs: What you need to know

Some states have comprehensive laws that regulate or prohibit drug testing, but with the exception of employers on public works projects, discussed below, Wisconsin does not have such a law. Wisconsin employers are therefore free to screen employees or applicants for drugs, without violating any state laws.

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The Wisconsin Fair Employment Practice Act (WI Gen. Stat. Sec. 111.31 et seq.) prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of certain classifications, including disability. According to the Wisconsin Department of Industry, Labor, and Human Relations (DILHR), alcoholism and drug addiction may be protected disabilities. Under the Act, a person cannot be discriminated against for either reason (Persons with Disabilities on the Job, publication number ERD-7550-P). This means that an employer may be required to reasonably accommodate an individual with a substance abuse problem, provided the individual can satisfactorily perform his or her job duties and does not pose a direct threat to safety in the workplace. However, employers can require employees who use alcohol or have abused drugs to meet the same standards of performance and conduct set for other employees, and may prohibit the use of illegal drugs and alcohol in the workplace. The state Act covers all employers regardless of size.

Wisconsin also has a State Employees' Antidiscrimination Law (WI Gen. Stat. Sec. 230.01, Sec. 230.18-.19) that prohibits discrimination in state employment.

Effective May 1, 2007, employers that are required to pay the prevailing wage rate for work performed on projects of public works, other than state highway projects, are required to take specific ...

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