Louisiana Governor Signs Amendments to Drug Testing Law

Author: Ashley Shaw, XpertHR Legal Editor

June 18, 2015

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed amendments into law that create a framework for conducting drug testing of an employee's hair. Forensic hair drug testing provides a larger window for detection of drugs than blood or urine testing.

Specifically, drug testing of hair may detect traces of drugs up to 90 days from when the individual used the substance. Urinalysis is limited to a one- to three-day range of detection.

While existing law does not ban hair testing, the new law, also known as Act 74, sets guidelines that require an employer to use hair testing laboratories that have been accredited by the College of American Pathologists (defined as a CAP-FDT-certified laboratory).

The amendments maintain the current requirement that if a sample tests positive, then it must be preserved in the laboratory so that an employee may challenge the results. In addition, employers are prohibited from the following actions:

  • Using samples to collect or analyze DNA; or
  • Requiring employees to pay for the test.

As with all drug testing, employers should ensure compliance with applicable federal and state laws in order to minimize the likelihood of employee claims, such as disability discrimination claims or invasion of privacy claims.