Washington Drug Testing Laws

Covered Employers

Private employers who want to qualify for 5% premium discount on workers’ comp. (subject to approval by state authorities)

Applicant Testing

Authorized testing with advance written notice after conditional offer of employment has been made, and if test is part of pre-employment physical exam

Employee Testing

  • Authorized testing: private employers on 60 days' notice to employees, in cases of workplace accidents, assistance program, reasonable suspicion, or at random
  • Employers' written substance abuse policy must be posted and distributed to employees
  • State agencies may test on reasonable suspicion (stated in writing) for safety-sensitive positions pursuant to a written testing policy
Conditions & Methods
  • Confidential test result
  • Testing only by certified laboratory
  • Documentation showing chain of custody
  • Confirming test for positive result
  • Opportunity for employee to explain results
  • First-time positive result may not be grounds for termination
  • State agency policy must be approved by collective bargaining representative


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