If your employer or prospective employer in South Carolina has asked you to take a drug test, you’ll want to know your legal rights. Federal law places few limits on employer drug testing: Although the federal government requires testing by employers in a few safety-sensitive industries (including transportation, aviation, and contractors with NASA and the Department of Defense), federal law doesn’t otherwise require – or prohibit -- drug tests. For the most part, this area is regulated by state and local laws.
Like a number of other states, South Carolina has a drug-free workplace program regulating drug testing. Employers who establish such a program can qualify for a discount on their workers’ compensation insurance premiums. However, employers must follow the state’s rules to get their discount. South Carolina requires employers in this program to drug test.
South Carolina law doesn’t restrict or prohibit applicant drug testing. Employers don’t have to implement applicant testing to qualify as a drug-free workplace.
To qualify as a drug-free workplace for workers’ compensation purposes, a South Carolina employer must conduct random drug testing among all employees. The employer must conduct a follow-up test within 30 minutes of the initial test. The employee must be notified within 24 hours of a positive test result.
Even though South Carolina law allows employers to drug test, employees and applicants may have legal claims based on how the test was conducted, who was tested, or how the results were used. Here are some examples: