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Arizona Named State With "Best" Drug Testing Laws


September-October 1994

The Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace named Arizona the state with the best drug-testing policy, calling it "responsible and fair" with proper consideration given to employers and employees ("Business Group Declares Arizona Law Best Drug Testing Statute in Nation," National Report on Substance Abuse, Buraff Publications, Oct. 13, 1994, p. 2). Other commended states in the group's Guide to State Drug-Testing Laws include Utah, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.

Arizona has a voluntary testing law that suggests procedures for workplace drug testing. If an employer complies with the testing guidelines, it is guarded against civil liability as a result of its testing program. An employer that does not follow the state guidelines does not receive such protection. Mark A. de Bernardo, executive director of the Institute said that Arizona's laws are the "most progressive, pro-employer, and pro- employee." He added that the Arizona laws should set the standard for other states.

The lowest ranked states, including Vermont, Montana, Maine, Iowa, Minnesota, Connecticut and Rhode Island, were cited for mandating restrictions on employees that can be tested, requiring employers to give their employees advance notice of testing, and limiting how employers can handle positive drug test results. "Unfortunately, these seven states have chosen to handcuff employers, severely limiting their options in addressing workplace drug abuse," de Bernardo said.

[To obtain a copy of this report, contact Loree Elton at The Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace, 1301 K Street, N.W., East Tower, Suite 1010, Washington, DC 20005. The report costs $95.00.]