Indiana Drug Testing: What Businesses Need to Know About Testing Laws

indiana drug testing

Drug testing may appear daunting, but its intention is not to intimidate. The level of anxiety surrounding employee drug testing depends on how well-prepared they are. It's crucial to reassure your employees that drug testing is not an accusation of drug or alcohol use or abuse, but that it’s a way to ensure a safe workplace for everyone. Indiana, often called the "Crossroads of America," embodies a transient image fitting its Midwestern identity. This characterization is particularly relevant concerning drug testing regulations in Indianapolis, Indiana. To gain clarity amidst this constantly evolving landscape, here are the essential insights regarding Indiana drug testing: local versus federal law, state compliance, etc.

Understanding the Drug Testing Regulations for Businesses

Workplace drug testing remains to deter drug usage and uphold a safe workplace environment. Individuals in safety-sensitive roles, as defined by federal guidelines, must undergo drug testing before employment, following accidents, and periodically throughout the year.

Are you being requested by your Indiana employer or potential employer to undergo a drug test? Federal regulations impose minimal constraints on employer drug Testing in Indianapolis, Indiana practices. While particular safety-sensitive sectors mandated by the federal government necessitate drug testing (such as transportation, aviation, and contractors affiliated with NASA and the Department of Defense), federal law generally does not mandate or forbid drug testing. State and local regulations determine the authority to conduct employee drug testing. 

Although numerous states have enacted laws outlining the situations in which an employer can or cannot mandate drug testing, Indiana does not fall under this category. Indiana drug testing follows some unique guidelines about drug testing, which are as follows:

  •     In Indiana, there is no comprehensive statute specifically addressing drug testing. Nonetheless, under certain conditions, drug testing might be necessary. Below are the industries where specific regulations apply. Childcare facilities are legally bound to uphold a documented drug testing protocol (refer to the law for comprehensive information) and establish a written policy concerning reinstatement after a suspension due to drug testing. Failure to comply with these regulations may result in the denial of a license application or the suspension/revocation of an issued license for childcare centers.
  •     Healthcare pertains to any position involving direct patient interaction but is not governed by Indiana Code 25. The eligibility criteria for exemption can be complex. If you're uncertain whether you're exempt, consult Code 25 for clarification. However, a general guideline is to anticipate testing employees (at least 50% randomly and those suspected of substance abuse) annually.
  •     Contractors bidding for public works contracts must include a written plan for an employee drug Testing in Indianapolis, Indiana program complying with this chapter, or they won't be awarded the contract. Some stipulations include random monthly testing of 2% to 3% of their workforce and subjecting all employees to an annual drug test. This industry also specifies which drugs must be included in the testing panel.
  •     While Indiana law doesn't explicitly forbid drug testing, employers must be cautious as their testing practices or selection criteria may lead to legal issues. Individuals taking medication for a disability are safeguarded under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Certain prescribed medications may register positive on drug tests, including substances like opiates, which might be legally prescribed for specific medical conditions. If an employer denies a candidate based on a positive drug test, and the medication was lawfully prescribed for a disability, the company could incur penalties unless the substance is medical marijuana.
  •     An employer having a valid cause for testing could infringe upon employee privacy through the testing procedure. For instance, demanding employees to undress or give a urine sample in the presence of others might constitute a privacy breach, contingent upon the situation. If an employer targets specific employee groups, such as based on race, age, or gender, for drug testing, they could potentially encounter a discrimination lawsuit.


Indiana is one of the few states that have stringent marijuana laws and hasn’t legalized this drug for either medical or recreational purposes. Consequently, employers retain the authority for marijuana drug Testing in Indianapolis, Indiana, and can terminate, discipline, or enact other unfavorable measures against employees who test positive for the substance. A few years ago, a federal court in Indiana dismissed a lawsuit filed by an employee who was fired for testing positive for marijuana during a random drug test at work. However, the courts rejected these claims, stating there was no evidence that the company was formally informed about CBD usage and, therefore, had no prior knowledge to discriminate against him.  This overview of Indiana drug testing can serve as the guide for your business.

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