What happens if I fail a Drug Test

by | Apr 29, 2024 | 0 comments

If an employee fails a drug test, the DOT requires that employers immediately remove them from the job. This does not necessarily mean termination, but there are specific guidelines regarding when an employee can return to work.

drug test determines whether a person has certain illicit drugs or controlled substances in their system. There are several types of drug screenings an employer may conduct, including:

  • Saliva testing which has a detection period of five to 48 hours and is an inexpensive way to identify current or recent drug use. They’re slightly less accurate than other testing methods, but there’s little chance of tampering because they can be supervised. Instant tests can produce results in a few minutes, while lab results may take several days.
  • Urine testing is a low-cost, non-invasive method for detecting recent and drug use,  but because it’s unmonitored, there’s an increased risk of tampering. Turnaround time is typically two to three days.
  • Hair follicle testing is a two-step process for detecting historical drug use that can identify substances used up to 90 days earlier. Hair follicle testing is tamper-resistant and highly reliable, but due to its high cost, it’s usually reserved for safety-sensitive industries.

How Often Do People Fail Drug Tests?

Quest’s review of the data showed increases in positive tests for employees who work in national security and public safety. Marijuana, amphetamine, and cocaine use increased among federal employees in safety-sensitive roles, and marijuana use in the general workforce was up 9.1% year over year.

Employers require pre-employment drug tests as part of their hiring practices. In some regulated industries, employers may even be required to perform a pre-employment drug test. Drug tests are common. But what happens if you fail a pre-employment drug test? In most cases, if you fail a pre-employment drug test, you will no longer be eligible for the position. Whether you are an employer who is considering implementing pre-employment drug testing as part of your hiring process or you are a prospective employee who is concerned about your ability to pass a drug test, it is important to know about pre-employment drug screenings.

With the increasing number of states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana, employers will need to review those laws before making employment decisions based on failed drug tests. Note that some industries, safety-sensitive jobs and federal contractors must comply with federal drug-testing rules that dictate the steps employers must take and are generally excluded from state law limits on drug testing. Employers should have a comprehensive drug-free-workplace policy and drug-testing procedures that are followed consistently in all circumstances

A failed drug test may be noted in the records of the employer that requested it, but they typically keep this information confidential. However, the results of a positive drug test for certain positions, such as those regulated by the Department of Transportation, may be available for future employers to see.

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