Massachusetts Alcohol & Drugs laws & safety compliance analysis

Massachusetts Alcohol & Drugs: What you need to know

State Requirements

Some states have comprehensive laws that regulate or prohibit drug testing in the workplace, but Massachusetts does not have such a law. As a general rule, employers are free to implement drug-testing programs at their own discretion.

Drug Testing
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Some states have comprehensive laws that regulate or prohibit drug testing in the workplace, but Massachusetts does not have such a law. As a general rule, employers are free to implement drug-testing programs at their own discretion. Please see the national Alcohol and Drugs section.

Discrimination

The Massachusetts Fair Employment Practices Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of certain classifications, including disability (MA Gen. Laws Ch. 151B Sec. 1et seq.). According to guidelines issued by the state Commission Against Discrimination, alcoholism and drug addiction (but not recreational use) are considered disabilities. However, current illegal use of controlled substances is not covered. The Act covers employers with six or more employees.

Reasonable accommodation. Employers are required to provide reasonable accommodation to covered individuals. This does not mean employers have to tolerate abuse on the job; it may mean altering schedules to allow for participation in therapy programs, etc. Please see the national Alcohol and Drugs section.

Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) Compared

The federal ADA considers the current use of alcohol as a disability, but not the current use of illegal drugs. However, the ADA does protect drug users who are either participating in, or who have completed, a supervised drug rehabilitation program and are no longer current drug users. Please see the national Alcohol and Drugs section.

Please see the discussion below regarding the use of the interactive process for employees who use medical marijuana.


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