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Practice Group

Drug Testing

Ogletree Deakins understands that employers face complex and nuanced issues when implementing and enforcing drug and alcohol testing and substance abuse policies.

Drawing on decades of experience advising and defending drug testing laboratories, and public and private employers across the country and internationally, our attorneys provide highly responsive legal service that includes drafting and revising drug and alcohol testing policies; counseling on and analyzing individual drug and alcohol testing situations (including reasonable-suspicion drug testing determinations); conducting investigations and employee training; and litigating class and collective actions, single-plaintiff cases, and regulatory matters in the following areas:

  • Drug and alcohol testing policies and protocols
  • Substance abuse policies
  • Evaluation of types of drug and alcohol testing modalities
  • Pre-employment drug and alcohol testing
  • Random drug and alcohol testing
  • Reasonable suspicion and post-accident drug and alcohol testing
  • Criminal background checks
  • Medical and recreational marijuana
  • Disability and prescription drug accommodation
  • ADA implications for drug and alcohol testing
  • Employee discipline
  • Medical Review Officer Coordination
  • Drug and alcohol test tampering/fraud
  • Privacy
  • Drug Free Workplace compliance
  • U.S. Department of Transportation compliance and reporting
  • U.S. Department of Energy compliance and reporting
  • U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Fitness for Duty testing and investigations
  • Federal Aviation Administration compliance
  • Labor relations implications of drug and alcohol testing, including grievance arbitrations
  • Admissibility of drug and alcohol testing results, including admissibility in unemployment and workers’ compensation matters
  • Expert toxicology testimony
  • Training

Depth and Experience

Our attorneys bring their specific experience and knowledge of drug and alcohol testing issues to the employers we represent. The depth of our practice allows us to provide the following benefits:

  • Access to counsel with on-point and in-state experience who can handle the most complex issues
  • Attorneys who are experienced in providing day-to-day legal advice in the context of drug and alcohol testing policies and protocols
  • Exceptional nation-wide “bench strength” in drug and alcohol testing policy matters and litigation
  • Experience working with general counsel and members of senior leadership teams
  • Counsel who monitor pending legislation and legal trends in drug and alcohol testing including the latest science on drug testing modalities
  • Training and presentations for executive employees
  • Preventive counseling about legal risks associated with drug and alcohol testing
  • Experience as liaisons with the U.S. Department of Transportation, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and other agencies
  • Drug testing legal alerts, newsletters, and webinars for clients


Communication is a vital part of serving the legal needs of our clients. We regularly update clients on the status of their matters and are available for consultation at every step of the decision-making process. This participative practice style promotes information-driven decision making and helps to build strong and lasting relationships based on timeliness, responsiveness, quality, and value.


We are a leader in offering value-based billing for clients. We work closely with our clients to develop fee arrangements that are tailored to their needs, and we are happy to discuss alternative fee agreements that may be of interest to our clients.

Drug Testing Practice Group Leader

Michael Clarkson

M. Tae Phillips

Attorneys for this Practice Group

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