3201 - Controlled Substance Abuse Testing and Treatment Program


Medical Screening

Audience List

  • Administrative Chiefs
  • Agency Secretaries
  • Agency Undersecretaries
  • CEAs, Managers, Supervisors
  • Chief Deputy Directors
  • Chiefs of Administration
  • Department Deputy Directors
  • Department Directors
  • Employee Relations Officers
  • Human Resources Chiefs
  • Human Resources Liaisons
  • Human Resources Staff
  • Labor Relations Officers
  • Labor Representatives
  • Personnel Officers


This policy reminds departments the use of illegal drugs and alcohol, by state employees, is prohibited in the workplace. In addition, certain applicants and state employee’s performing sensitive duties may be subject to drug and alcohol testing, pursuant to federal and state regulations. State departments may participate in the CalHR, Controlled Substance Abuse Testing and Treatment (CSATT) Program or maintain their own substance abuse testing program.

Departments that choose to participate in the CalHR, CSATT Program, must adhere to the procedures for participating and services received as outlined in this policy. For those departments that choose to maintain their own substance abuse testing program, the laws and regulations are referenced in this policy.

Regardless of whether departments choose to participate in CalHR’s CSATT Program, all departments can refer to the CSATT Program guide, as it is comprehensive of all laws and requirements.


Pursuant to Executive Order D-58-86 and Government Code (GC) sections 18502, 19261, 19815.4, 19820, CalHR and the State Personnel Board (SPB) has established the California Code of Regulation (C.C.R.), sections 213.0-213.6 and 599.960-599.966 outlining the CSATT Program requirements to achieve a drug-free workplace, while protecting the privacy of state employees. No state employee who is on duty or on standby for duty shall:

1.     Use, possess, or be under the influence of illegal or unauthorized drugs, alcohol, or other mind-altering substances.

2.     Use or be under the influence of alcohol to any extent that impedes an employee’s ability to perform his or her duties safely and effectively.

This policy provides guidance to state departments on the CSATT Program requirements under federal regulations, state regulations, and Memoranda of Understanding provisions. Refer to the CalHR CSATT Guide under “resources” for detailed information on the subjects discussed below.


CalHR CSATT Program

The CalHR administers the CSATT for several testing programs, including:

  • State Pre-employment Testing.
  • Random Testing.
  • U.S. Coast Guard.
  • State Random for Bargaining Unit 6, Excluded, and Exempt Peace Officer.
  • State Reasonable Suspicion Testing.

To comply with federal and state CSATT requirements, CalHR has established separate master agreements with two third party administrators. Under the agreements, the third party administrators provide the following services to departments who choose to participate in CalHR’s CSATT Program:

  1. i3Screen LLC.
  • Urine and breath alcohol testing.
  • Collection sites throughout California during normal hours, after hours, emergency testing, and via mobile services.
  • Laboratory testing.
  • Medical Review Officers.
  • Electronic or paper test scheduling and results reporting.
  • State Random testing: 8 panel substance and alcohol testing.
  • State Reasonable Suspicion testing: 8 panel substance and alcohol testing.
  • State Pre-employment testing: 5 panel substance and alcohol testing.
  • Federally regulated employees: 5 panel substance and alcohol testing.
  • Federally regulated U.S. Coast Guards: 5 panel substance and alcohol testing.
  • Electronic billing, invoices, and reporting.

2. Substance Referral Services, LLC.

  • In-person evaluation of employees to determine substance abuse treatment requirements.
  • Substance Referral Services reporting to employers on the recommended course of action.
  • Evaluation and monitoring of employees during substance abuse treatments.
  • Recommendation on whether the employee can return to work.
  • Statistical summary of all evaluations conducted by the third party administrator.

Department Interagency Agreements to Participate in the CalHR CSATT Program

A departmental interagency agreement between CalHR and the participating department must be completed prior to obtaining CalHR CSATT Program services. The departmental contract will be required for testing under the federal and/or state programs. Each participating department is billed for services and charged annual administrative fees to cover program costs. A copy of the CalHR interagency agreement template is provided to departments interested in participating in the CalHR, CSATT Program.
CalHR Consortium

CalHR serves as the administrator for the consortium that provides CSATT services for federal and state mandated programs. CalHR manages CSATt services for departments participating in CalHR CSATT Program. The consortium groups managed by CalHR includes:

  1. Federal random drug and alcohol testing pool.
  2. U.S. Coast Guard pool for the Department of Parks.
  3. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and Department of Juvenile Justice pool.
  4. California Highway Patrol pool.

Departments may use the consortium to meet testing requirements. Each consortium is managed separately and testing is conducted in accordance with federal and state regulations.

Employees Subject to Federal DOT Program Requirements

Federal Regulations require the state to test employees in safety-sensitive classifications or positions. See the applicable federal regulations below for details.

Special Requirements for the Federal Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

Effective January 6, 2020, employers must not employ a driver subject to controlled substances and alcohol testing to perform a safety-sensitive function without first conducting a pre-employment query in the federal Clearinghouse database to obtain information about whether the driver has a verified positive, adulterated, or substituted controlled substances test result; has an alcohol confirmation test with a concentration of 0.04 or higher; has refused to submit to a test or that an employer has reported actual knowledge that the driver used alcohol on duty, used alcohol before duty, used alcohol following an accident, or used a controlled substance. 

The federal Clearinghouse database provides employers the necessary tools to identify drivers who are prohibited from operating a commercial motor vehicle based on federal drug and alcohol program violations and ensure that such drivers receive the required evaluation and treatment before operating a commercial motor vehicle on public roads.

For detailed information regarding the federal Clearinghouse database requirements, please review the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Clearinghouse website and CalHR CSATT Guide located in this document under “resources.”

Employees Subject to State Program Requirements

In addition to the federally-mandated covered employees, the CalHR regulation, section 599.961, defines employees in sensitive classifications and positions. Pursuant to the state regulation, “sensitive” includes peace officer positions, as defined by the Penal Code sections 830.2(d) and 830.5, and other positions in which drug or alcohol affected performance could clearly endanger the health and safety of others. Other positions have the following general characteristics:

  1. Duties involve a greater than normal level of trust, responsibility for or impact on the health and safety of others.
  2. Errors in judgment, inattentiveness or diminished coordination, dexterity or composure while performing their duties could clearly result in mistakes that would endanger the health and safety of others.
  3. Employees in these positions work with such independence, or, perform such tasks that it cannot be safely assumed that mistakes such as those described in above could be prevented by a supervisor or another employee.

Employing departments participating in the CalHR CSATT Program must identify and notify CalHR of classifications and positions determined to meet the definition of “sensitive” pursuant to federal and state regulations.

Department Sensitive Request Procedure

If the employing department determines a classification or position meets the definition of “sensitive” criteria outlined above, the department must submit a sensitive position request, CalHR Form 163, to the CalHR, for review and approval to add the new employee(s) in the classification or position to the CalHR CSATT Program for testing, pursuant to C.C.R., sections 599.960-599.966.

If it is determined the classification or position meets the “sensitive” criteria, CalHR, CSATT Program staff will notify the department and CalHR, Labor Relations Division. The process to submit a sensitive position request to CalHR is outlined in the CalHR CSATT Guide.

Confidentiality of Tests and Employee Records

Each employing department must keep all controlled substance testing records in its possession that identify or pertain to individual employees confidential. Testing records may be released in accordance with federal and state regulations, which require the employee to provide written consent prior to releasing his or her information. Records of all positive tests will be maintained for a minimum of five (5) years.

Upon written request from the employee to the department, the department will send the employee copies of any and all documents the department has in its possession related to the employee's drug test. Information will only be released upon the written request from the employee.

CSATT Training Requirements for Employees and Supervisors

Pursuant to federal regulations, supervisors of commercial motor vehicle drivers, who operate vehicles that require a commercial driver license, must train for 60 minutes on the symptoms of alcohol abuse and another 60 minutes on the symptoms of controlled substances use (120 minutes in total). 

The purpose of this training is to educate supervisors to identify circumstances and indicators that may create reasonable suspicion that a driver is using or under the influence of alcohol or drugs, supporting referral of an employee for testing. The training courses are listed in the CalHR CSATT Guide.
California Highway Patrol Audits and Compliance Requirements

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is authorized by the California Vehicle Code to conduct inspections of CSATT Programs and issue a safety compliance rating indicating the employer’s CSATT compliance with federal and state regulations. Since the California Vehicle Code incorporates the federal regulations, the CHP uses the federal definitions and interpretations when determining whether a department is in compliance. Inspections are conducted at the state departments. CHP provides the following detailed information and guidance on their website at:



  • Departments must submit an interagency agreement to CalHR to participate in the CSATT Program.
  • Departments must identify which classifications and positions should be designated safety-sensitive to require employees to be subject to drug and alcohol testing.
  • Departments must notify state employees hired into a “sensitive” classification or position of the drug and alcohol testing requirements.
  • Departments participating in the CalHR CSATT Program must immediately notify CalHR of new employees that should be included in the CSATT Program or deleted, if the employee is no longer subject to the required drug and alcohol testing.
  • Departments must adhere to the federal and state testing and reporting requirements.
  • Departments must be aware of requirements provided in the Memoranda of Understandings.
  • Departments must ensure supervisors and managers receiving training on CSATT requirements.
  • Departments must maintain employee CSATT records and management information system reports on all positive test results in accordance with the records retention requirements.





Web Pages

Authorized By

Michele Villados
Chief, Medical and Psychological Screening Division

Contact Person

Kathryn Ricoli
Office Technician , Medical and Psychological Screening Division
Phone: 916-324-9374
Fax: 916-322-3769
Email: Substanceabusetesting@calhr.ca.gov

Superseded Policies

Not Applicable.


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Table of Contents

1000 - Equal Employment Opportunity

1100 - Selection

1200 - Appointments

1300 - Exempt Employees

1400 - Benefits and Insurance

1500 - Work Schedules

1600 - Third Party Pre-Tax Parking

1700 - Compensation

1800 - Savings Plus

1900 - Bona Fide Associations

2000 - Collective Bargaining

2100 - Leave

2200 - Travel/Relocation

2300 - State Owned Housing

2400 - Employee Recognition

2600 - Layoffs

2700 - Retirement

2800 - Training

2900 - Workforce Planning

3000 - Examination and Hiring

3100 - Drug-Free Workplace

3200 - Medical Screening

3300 - Apprenticeships

3400 - Temporary Assignment

3500 - Classification Plan