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Workplace Drug Testing Laws for California

  • Published: 12/19/2022
  • Updated: 12/19/2022

The State of California has limited drug testing rules and protocols by code or statute.

For most private employers, California does not a have specific set of drug testing rules and protocols to follow when establishing a drug-free workplace policy; however, California’s case law determines which actions private employers can and cannot take regarding drug testing in the workplace.

The California State Constitution includes a right to privacy which extends to employees of privately-owned businesses.

Courts will perform a balancing test between an employer’s legitimate interest in maintaining a safe drug-free work environment and an employee’s right to privacy to determine whether a policy unconstitutionally discriminates against the employee.

In comparison to most other states with conflicts in similar circumstances, courts in California are more likely to rule in favor of an employee’s privacy interest than an employer’s right to drug test.