Tennessee State Drug Testing Laws Workplace drug testing issues – State Laws – Tennessee
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Tennessee State Drug Testing Laws

Workplace drug testing issues – State Laws – Tennessee

These categories do not affect DOT-regulated drug testing. Government employers should always call for potential additional restrictions on employee drug testing.

This chart is based on the provisions of the Tennessee voluntary law for a Drug-Free Workplace – TCA 50-6-418, 50-9-100 et. seq., and 50-6-110.

For the voluntary Tennessee drug-free workplace law, instant drug testing or POCT testing is prohibited.

Workplace Drug Testing Laws in Tennessee

Drug Testing Issue Status Comments
Instant or POCT Testing Restricted DOT-like procedures are required.
Drug Panels Restricted DOT-like procedures are required. SAMHSA 5 panel drug test unless Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development adds additional drugs.
Laboratory Certification Required CAP or SAMHSA certification.
Medical Review Officer Required Required for both positive and negative results
Random Testing No restrictions
Post-Accident No restrictions
Reasonable Suspicion No restrictions
Oral Fluids No restrictions No mention in the law
Hair Testing No restrictions No mention in the law
Unemployment Denial Yes Discharge or discipline of an employee or refusing to hire a job applicant who is found to violate the covered employer's Drug-Free Workplace Program will be considered done for the cause.
Workers Comp Discount Yes §50-9-101 - Provides a 5 percent discount on premiums to employers who establish a drug-free workplace program.
Intoxication Defense Yes TCA § 50-6-110(c)(1) u2013 no compensation for the employee's intoxication or illegal drug usage.
Medical Marijuana Limited Licensed physicians can recommend cannabis oil that contains less than 0.9% THC, but only to treat severe seizure disorders.
Recreational Marijuana No
Report Driver DOT Positives No
General Statute Tennessee has a drug-free workplace program, TCA Section 50-9-101. Drug and alcohol abuse is discouraged, and that employees who choose to engage in drug or alcohol abuse face the risk of unemployment and the forfeiture of worker's compensation benefits.

Tennessee Drug-Free Workplace employers Program Development and Implementation Guide

Intoxication Defense – Denial of Workers Compensation Claim – In Tennessee, If an employee is injured at work and later fails a post-accident drug/alcohol test, it is presumed that the drugs or alcohol were the proximate cause of the injury. Workers' Compensation benefits can be denied until the injured employee overcomes that presumption. The legislation was passed in 2011 that increased the standard of proof required by an injured worker to overcome the presumption from a preponderance of evidence to clear and convincing evidence. This change makes it even more difficult for employees impaired by alcohol or other drugs while at work to qualify for workers' compensation benefits.


This chart is intended for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for legal guidance. State and local law vary greatly; therefore, you are advised to consult experienced legal counsel during the design of your actual substance abuse testing program and with any questions that follow.

View Individual State Law Summaries