Has your employer or prospective employer in the District of Columbia asked you to take a drug test? 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, state and local laws determine whether an employer may test employees and applicants for drugs.
Although many states have passed laws regulating or restricting an employer’s right to require drug testing, the District of Columbia has not. Washington D.C. law does not address drug testing in private employment (other than for certain entities that contract with the District). This means that drug testing is not prohibited or restricted, unless it violates other legal provisions (such as a law prohibiting discrimination; see below).
Because Washington D.C. law doesn’t put any limits on workplace drug testing, employees who believe their test was illegal will have to rely on other legal theories. For example, an employer may run into legal trouble based on who is tested or how the test is conducted. Here are some examples: