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Minnesota Updates Workplace Drug Testing Regulations to Add Oral Fluid/Saliva Testing

Minnesota Updates Workplace Drug Testing Regulations to Add Oral Fluid/Saliva Testing

Posted by Alex Bennett on Jun 6th 2024

Key Takeaways:

  • Effective Date: Starting August 1, 2024, Minnesota employers can utilize oral fluid testing as an alternative to lab-based testing for drugs, alcohol, and cannabis.
  • Regulatory Compliance: The updated law imposes strict requirements for oral fluid testing, including confirmatory tests and re-tests.
  • Specimen Exemption: Oral fluid is now the only specimen exempt from Minnesota’s laboratory requirements, though strict collection and notification guidelines are in place.


Minnesota has recently amended its mandatory drug, alcohol, and cannabis testing law to allow employers to conduct oral fluid testing. This form of testing is exempt from the state’s laboratory testing requirements. While the term "rapid result" or "onsite" is not explicitly used, the law indicates that oral fluid testing can be conducted outside a laboratory with results provided at the time of the test. These changes will take effect on August 1, 2024.

Key Provisions

  • Legislative Changes: The updates to Minnesota Statutes 181.950 through 181.953 include new references and regulations for oral fluid testing. The statute defines an oral fluid test as one that detects the presence of drugs, alcohol, cannabis, and/or their metabolites without requiring a laboratory.
  • Strict Regulations: The law separates cannabis testing from drug testing and places stringent regulations on cannabis testing.

Detailed Guidelines

  • Immediate Results: Donors must be informed of the test results at the time of the oral fluid test.
  • Follow-Up Testing: Donors can request additional drug, alcohol, or cannabis testing within 48 hours of receiving a positive, inconclusive, or invalid result. This follow-up testing must be done in a laboratory, and the cost of the initial lab test is not the donor’s responsibility.
  • Confirmatory Retest: If the laboratory test confirms a positive result, donors can request a confirmatory retest at their own expense.

Action Items for Employers

Employers in Minnesota who wish to incorporate oral fluid testing into their workplace testing programs should:

  1. Review Policies: Thoroughly review and adjust existing workplace testing policies to ensure they align with the new regulations.
  2. Ensure Compliance: Implement procedures that comply with the strict collection and notification requirements outlined in the law.

By preparing now, employers can ensure a smooth transition to the new testing methods and maintain compliance with Minnesota's updated drug testing regulations.