Nevada Drug Testing Laws 2024

  1. Nevada Cannabis
  2. Nevada Marijuana Laws
  3. Nevada Drug Testing Laws

Related Pages:
Nevada Cannabis Testing Labs >

Nevada Drug Testing Laws 2024

Nevada drug testing laws are primarily outlined in Chapter 613 of the state's Revised Statutes (NRS) and NRS 284.406. While no state law addresses drug testing in private employment, private employers are not restricted or prohibited from testing their employees as long as they do not violate other legal provisions. Per NRS 453A.800, employers are not required to accommodate the use of employees' medical cannabis in the workplace. However, they must make reasonable accommodations for the medical needs of employees who are registered medical marijuana patients, including off-duty medical cannabis use. Nonetheless, law enforcement agencies are excluded from this statute under certain circumstances.

Under Nevada drug testing law, state employees are prohibited from reporting for work while impaired by drugs or consuming or possessing drugs while on duty. Any employee caught violating these rules is subject to disciplinary action as stipulated in the employer’s drug-free workplace policy. Effective January 2020, Nevada passed a law prohibiting the denial of employment if job candidates fail drug tests due to the presence of marijuana in their system. However, the law, which amended Chapter 613 of the NRS, made certain exceptions for some employers, especially those with employees in safety-related roles. Generally, Nevada employers are required to establish clear, written guidelines regarding when and how they will use workplace drug testing when screening their employees for drugs.

What Kinds of Drug Tests Can Employers Conduct in Nevada?

Workplace drug tests in Nevada are designed to detect the presence of methamphetamine, cocaine, opiates, marijuana, codeine, and phencyclidine (PCP). These substances can impair employees' ability to perform their employment duties efficiently and safely. Per NRS 284.4061, employees' blood, urine, or other bodily substances can be used as specimens to screen them for the presence of controlled substances, including cannabis. Nevada employers may drug test employees under the following circumstances:

  • Pre-employment Drug Testing - This test can be conducted for employees in select job classes and roles affecting public safety
  • Return-to-Duty Drug Testing - This drug screening is required for an employee's return to work following a positive drug test result
  • Reasonable Suspicion Drug Testing - This is usually conducted when an employee is suspected to be under the influence of drugs, including marijuana, on workplace premises
  • Post-Accident Drug Testing - An employer may conduct a post-accident drug test on an employee involved in a work-related accident that causes bodily harm or substantial property damage

Can Employers Do Random Drug Testing in Nevada?

Nevada drug testing law makes no provision for random drug testing. However, if an employer's workplace drug policy requires ongoing drug screening of employees' employment, the employer is not prohibited from conducting random drug tests. Nonetheless, workplace random drug testing in the state is subject to certain conditions and restrictions. Usually, it is best to perform random drug testing on employees in sensitive positions. Random drug tests are probably the most effective workplace drug testing type, as they are usually conducted unannounced.

What Happens if You Fail a Drug Test in Nevada for a Job?

When a person fails a workplace drug test in Nevada, state law requires that such an individual be subjected to a confirmatory test from the same specimen used for initial screening. Typically, any workplace drug test results in the state must be reported to an independent Medical Review Officer (MRO), not the employer. The MRO is responsible for reviewing all test results and investigating those confirmed to be positive. When an employee's drug test is confirmed positive, the MRO is expected to engage the employee to find out the reason for a positive result. Typically, an employer is required to refer any employee who tests positive to a drug test for the first time to an employee assistance program (EAP). If the employee then fails to accept the referral or rails to complete the EAP, the employer is free to take further disciplinary action.

While attempting to determine why an employee fails a drug test in Nevada, the MRO may offer the employee an opportunity to explain the positive result within 72 hours. The employee will be given the benefit of the doubt until they run out of explanations, except for illicit drug use. Where required, the employee may even request a retest of the original sample. Conducting a confirmatory test is an interim measure before an employer takes any disciplinary action against an employee who fails an initial workplace drug test. In Nevada, employers may only make accommodations for positive drug test results for medical marijuana, although with certain exceptions. Employees who fail workplace drug tests for cannabis as a result of their recreational consumption of marijuana can be fired.

Can I Be Fired for Refusing a Drug Test in Nevada?

Yes, an employer may fire an employee for refusing a drug test in Nevada. Per NRS 284.406, any employee who refuses to submit to a workplace drug test is subject to disciplinary action, and this may include employment termination. However, employees who believe they are being discriminated against for asking them to submit to drug tests may contest their employers' decision using any of the discrimination laws around. For instance, they may want to rely on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to fight their course by taking legal action against their employers.

Can You Get Fired for Failing a Drug Test with a Medical Card in Nevada?

Except in certain circumstances, especially for employees in safety-sensitive positions, employees who are duly registered in the Nevada Cannabis Program cannot be fired for failing workplace drug tests for marijuana. Employees who legally carry Nevada registry identification cards are protected under state law if they test positive for drug tests for cannabis, provided they are not impaired while at work. Similarly, under Assembly Bill 132 (AB 132), it is unlawful for any employer in Nevada to refuse to hire a prospective employee who is a registered medical cannabis patient for failing a drug test, and the result indicates the presence of cannabis.

Can Employers Conduct Drug Tests on Applicants in Nevada?

Employers with vacancies involving public safety in Nevada are permitted under state law to conduct drug screening on job applicants at the interview stage of their recruitment process. However, no Nevada law prohibits employers from drug testing applicants for non-safety-sensitive positions. Except for positions involving public safety, no employer in the state may deny a job candidate employment for testing positive for medical cannabis.

Is Pre-Employment Drug Testing Allowed in Nevada?

Yes. Nevada pre-employment drug testing laws require drug testing job candidates for positions designated by the state's Human Resources Commission as affecting public safety after giving the candidates conditional offers of employment. Generally, employing such new hires in permanent roles is contingent on passing post-offer or pre-employment drug tests. While pre-employment drug tests are not mandatory for most job roles, they are compulsory for select roles specifically named by the Nevada Human Resources Commission. In Nevada, any new hire in a safety-sensitive position who fails a pre-employment drug test or refuses testing can have their conditional offer of employment revoked.

For positions involving public safety, candidates who test positive for controlled substance use in Nevada will not be eligible for another position requiring post-offer drug testing for one year until they complete a drug rehabilitation program with proof. Any agency announcing employment for vacant positions in the state must ensure that a pre-employment drug testing requirement notice is included in the vacancy announcement before publishing it. In addition, when making an offer of employment, the employer should clearly indicate that the offer is conditional upon passing the pre-employment drug screening.

Does Nevada Allow Public Agencies to Submit Employees to Workplace Drug Tests?

Yes. Nevada's drug testing laws are primarily designed for public sector employees. Hence, public agencies can require their employees to submit to workplace drug tests as long as they are not violating any other state or federal law. This applies to employees at the local and state levels.

Can Employers Choose to Create Drug-Free Workplace Policies?

Although the state has no statutory laws regulating drug-free workplace policies, Nevada employers who want to maintain drug-free work environments can establish their own drug-free workplace programs or policies. Under these policies, employers may prohibit the sale, use, and possession of illicit drugs, including marijuana, at work to foster a safe workplace. More importantly, an employer is expected to include a requirement for employee drug testing in their drug-free workplace policy and the penalties for failing drug tests.

Employees Exempted From Nevada Workplace Drug Testing Laws

Nevada drug testing law does not mandate drug testing for all employees in the state. However, under state law, certain employees in the state whose positions affect public safety must submit to workplace drug testing. These positions include the following:

  • A job role requiring an employee to operate a vehicle if state or federal law would require the employee to undergo drug tests for such a position
  • An emergency technician or a firefighter, as described in NRS 450B
  • Any other position as determined by an employer that could adversely affect public safety

Nevada drug test law does not apply if it conflicts with a collective bargaining agreement or the provisions of an employment contract or if it is inconsistent with federal law. Also, job positions funded by a federal grant are exempt from Nevada drug test laws.

What are the Requirements for Drug Testing Labs in Nevada?

There are no specific restrictions on laboratories that employers can contract for workplace drug testing in Nevada. However, employing the services of independent laboratories certified by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for drug testing is recommended.

In this section: