North Dakota Drug Testing Laws and Regulations


North Dakota

Statute of Order

Currently Not Available

Covered Employers

Currently Not Available

Applicant Testing

Currently Not Available

Employee Testing

Currently Not Available

Conditions & Methods

Currently Not Available

Important Bulletpoints

Under provisions of the Worker’s Safety And Insurance laws of North Dakota, any injury caused by illegal use of controlled substances or the use of intoxicants are not compensable injuries.

For workers’ compensation claims, the burden of proof is on the employer to show that the employee’s injury is caused by the use of alcohol or illegal use of a controlled substance through compliant drug testing as performed by a physician, qualified technician, chemist or registered nurse in accordance to US Department of Transportation requirements.

Although not required, employers in essence are allowed to have a mandatory drug or alcohol testing policy that covers post-accident testing as well as testing on grounds of reasonable suspicion.

Employers must pay for all the costs of medical examination required of employees and prospective employees as a condition of obtaining or continuing employment. North Dakota laws categorically include testing for the presence of alcohol or drugs as a medical examination. Infractions of this provision are penalized under Labor laws.

An employee’s refusal to submit to testing for the presence of drugs or alcohol on the basis of reasonable suspicion or as per the employer’s mandatory policy constitutes an outright forfeiture of all entitlements to workforce safety and insurance benefits.

North Dakota Drug Testing Law

Drug testing in North Dakota for current and prospective employees is not mandatory. There are U.S. states that have comprehensive regulations and rules that prohibit or regulate drug testing in the workplace but North Dakota is not one of them. Employers in North Dakota are therefore, at liberty to require or implement drug testing programs in the workplace.

Based on Federal ruling, North Dakota drug testing is mandatory for employees in the field of safety-sensitive industries such as those in the medical field, law enforcers, aviation, public transportation, Department of Defense and NASA contractors.

Stipulations on North Dakota Drug Testing Law

Although there is no comprehensive North Dakota drug testing law, there are some conditions or provisions expressed. They are:

  • An employer who requires employee drug testing must pay for the actual cost of the drug test.
  • An employer has the right to require an employee to take a North Dakota drug test after an injury or accident in the workplace. This is when the employer or a doctor has reasonable grounds or suspicion that the employee’s accident or injury was the result of the employee’s use of any controlled substance or alcohol. An employee who tests positive will no longer qualify for workers’ compensation and any other benefits.

Employee’s Legal Claims in North Dakota Drug Testing

Since there is no explicit North Dakota drug testing law, employees who deem that their drug test was illegal has the following provisions to support them.

  • The ACA (American with Disabilities) protects a prospective employee or current employee from disability discrimination if he is taking medication for his disability. There are some medications that test positive on a North Dakota drug test. If an applicant or employee was turned down or fired due to the positive result of the legitimately prescribed disability medication, the employer is deemed liable, but not in the case of medical marijuana.
  • An employer who requires North Dakota drug testing for certain groups based on race, creed, gender or age is liable for a discrimination claim.
  • An employer must see to it that his employee’s right to privacy is not violated when conducting the drug test.
  • In the event that an employer publicizes an employee’s false positive result or if the employer knowingly publicizes an incorrect drug test result, the employer is deemed liable.

Medical Marijuana Law

The use and possession of marijuana for medical purposes was illegal in North Dakota until the November 8, 2016 national elections.

Medical Marijuana Initiative was approved by North Dakota voters on November 8, 2016 by way of a 64-32% ballot result. North Dakota Compassionate Act, or Measure 5, will allow the medical use of cannabis for residents of the state who are afflicted with certain conditions, and are recommended by their doctors. Medical marijuana will be available from state-licensed compassion centers. Patients who are living 40 miles away from a compassion center will be permitted to grow up to eight cannabis plant at home.

The medical marijuana law was supposed to take effect in 30 days, after the Department of Health has begun completion process. To implement the program, the Department has to develop regulations such as registration of patients, business licensing and such.

Patients who wish to be included in the program would have to submit an application form together with a written doctor's certification confirming the patient's condition that could be alleviated with the use of medical marijuana, and pay a fee. The patient-doctor relationship should be authentic.

Qualifying Medical Conditions


• Cancer



• Hepatitis C

• Alzheimer's disease

• Crohn's disease

• Dementia

• spinal stenosis

• fibromyalgia

• chronic back pain

• epilepsy

• glaucoma

• medical conditions that results to wasting or cachexia

• severe, debilitating pain that has not responded to other medications and surgery for over three months, and where treatment produced grave side effects

• intractable seizures, nausea, persistent or severe muscle spasm

The Department of Health is open for petition from residents to consider other medical conditions for qualification.


• Caregivers and patients may have in their possession up to 3 ounces of useable marijuana for a period of 14 days.

• Using medical marijuana in public areas and workplace is not permitted.

• A person driving under the influence of marijuana is liable for criminal prosecution and damages resulting out of vehicle operation.

• It is illegal to possess, distribute and transfer marijuana in school buses and public transportation, including school grounds and property, recreation center, public park and so on.

Recreational Marijuana Law

If passed as an initiated state statute in June 2018, the North Dakota Marijuana Legalization Initiative would legalize the possession, cultivation, use and distribution of cannabis for those 21 years old and older.


• The limitations of this law are not yet clearly stated.

Effects on Workplace Drug Testing

The state of North Dakota has no comprehensive law pertaining to drug testing private employees. This means that a private employer has the option to require drug testing for applicants and employees as long as he shoulders the cost of the drug tests. Random drug testing are allowable following an employee's injury or accident, or if there is a mandatory policy of testing in place, or there is reasonable grounds to consider that the accident or incident was due to drug-caused impairment.


<< Back to List of States

Material on these pages (state drug testing laws and drug testing regulations) is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, medical or technical advice. This drug testing related information is not intended as substitute for obtaining legal advice from attorney, or a relevant medical technical or financial professional. TestCountry is not a law firm or a legal agency, therefore cannot guarantee the accuracy of this content. Drug testing laws are collected from legal and/or state sources, and it may or may not be valid by the time you are viewing it. Any views or opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Confirm BioSciences Inc. DBA TestCountry.