Pennsylvania Alcohol & Drugs laws & safety compliance analysis

Pennsylvania Alcohol & Drugs: What you need to know

State Requirements

Pennsylvania does not have a state law that regulates or prohibits drug testing in the private sector. However, private employers that choose to implement a testing program should be sensitive to the privacy issues involved.

Drug Testing
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Pennsylvania does not have a state law that regulates or prohibits drug testing in the private sector. However, private employers that choose to implement a testing program should be sensitive to the privacy issues involved. For example, a random drug testing policy may compete with an individual's right to privacy. Pennsylvania courts use a balancing test that seeks to determine whether a reasonable person would find the employer's program highly offensive. The courts weight the employee's privacy with the employer's interest in maintaining a substance-free workplace.

Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation law upholds an employer’s right to discharge an employee following a positive drug test. In Pennsylvania, an employee is ineligible for unemployment compensation if he or she was discharged or suspended because of:

  • A failure to submit to a legitimate drug test; or
  • A failure to pass a legitimate drug test. For Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation purposes, all employer drug tests must be conducted under the employer’s established substance abuse policy.

Please see the national Alcohol and Drugs section.

Philadelphia—Marijuana Drug Testing

Effective January 1, 2022, employers in Philadelphia are prohibited from preemployment drug testing for marijuana (Phila. Ord. Sec. 9-4700). There are exceptions for those applying for work:

  • In law enforcement;
  • That requires a commercial driver’s license;
  • Supervising or caring for children, medical patients, those with ...

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