If an employer or a prospective employer in Maryland 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.
Maryland allows employers to require drug tests, if they follow the state's procedures and rules.
Employers may require applicants to take drug tests. If the initial result of an applicant's test is positive for drugs, and the applicant voluntarily discloses that he or she is taking a legally prescribed medication, the employer may make a job offer conditional on a laboratory's confirmation of the test results.
An employer may require employees to take drug tests for legitimate business purposes only.
An employer who requires drug tests must test samples at a certified laboratory. At the time of the testing, the employee may request the name and address of the lab. State law dictates the procedures for testing, confidentiality, and other procedures.
An employee who tests positive must be given:
Medical and recreational marijuana are legal in Maryland, although the state legislature hasn't enacted legislation specifically protecting marijuana users in the workplace.
That means (as of early 2024) employers in Maryland can drug test applicants and employees for the presence of marijuana, and fire or otherwise discipline them based on a positive test. In the near future, however, the state legislature could decide to follow other states in enacting employment protections for workers who use marijuana.
Employers are encouraged to check the latest guidance on the Department of Labor website or consult with an employment attorney if they have questions.
Even though Maryland law allows employers to drug test in some circumstances, employees and applicants may have legal claims based on who was tested, how the test was conducted, or how the results were used. Here are some examples: