Iowa drug and alcohol testing law

Iowa law allows private employers to conduct employee drug testing as long as the employer complies with Iowa Code 730.5. That code section contains very specific and detailed drug testing procedures and safeguards for employees. In most instances Iowa employers can't legally discipline or fire an employee based upon a drug or alcohol test unless all pertinent provisions of Iowa Code 730.5 are complied with. 

What are the requirements for a valid employee drug or alcohol test?

The first question is whether the drug or alcohol test is even valid. Iowa employers are generally allowed to conduct random, reasonable suspicion, and post-accident drug or alcohol testing. Iowa Code 730.5 provides specific rules for each type of test. An invalid test that an employer never had the right to insist on can't be the basis for employee discipline or termination, regardless of the results of the test.

The next question is whether the drug or alcohol test is properly conducted. Again, Iowa Code 730.5 includes specific rules for conducting such tests. An improperly conducted test can't be the basis for employee discipline or termination, regardless of the results of the test.  

Finally, if the drug or alcohol test comes back positive, a number of procedural safeguards for the employee's protection are triggered in Iowa Code 730.5. The employer has to conduct confirmatory testing if the initial test is positive. If the confirmatory test is also positive, then the employer has to give the employee proper notice of the test results and an opportunity to have a third test conducted on the same sample. An employer that fails to comply with any of those safeguards under Iowa Code 730.5 is prohibited from disciplining or firing the employee based on the drug or alcohol test, regardless of the results of the test.

What money damages can I recover?

Iowa Code 730.5 gives you powerful legal rights if your employer disciplines or fires you in violation of the statute. You can recover lost wages and other types of equitable relief. Iowa Code 730.5 further allows you to recover your attorney fees and litigation expenses.

Would you like more information?

We have considerable experience in drug testing cases, having argued and won them in trial courts on behalf of various types of employees in various types of drug or alcohol testing situations. We have amassed a great deal of knowledge about all aspects of Iowa's drug and alcohol testing law through our work on behalf of those employees. We welcome you to share in some of that knowledge by reviewing various blog posts that we have made on drug and alcohol testing topics:

Common Employer Mistakes: Drug And Alcohol Testing

Can You Refuse An Employee Drug/Alcohol Test?

Employers Do Not Have An Automatic Right To Conduct Post-Injury Drug Tests

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We make every effort to provide a same-day response to all communications received during weekday business hours. Initial telephone calls are always free. If it looks like we can help, it'll be our pleasure to meet with you, learn more about your situation, and lend you a hand. We handle as many of our cases as possible on a contingent fee basis, meaning that there's no fee unless we make a monetary recovery for you.


Erbe Law Firm 
2501 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50312
(515) 281-1460

Erbe Law Firm has proudly served clients throughout Iowa since 2005 from our Des Moines law firm. We look forward to hearing from you to see whether we can do the same for you.

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