What Happens If You Fail A Drug Test?

If you fail a drug test, it can cause big problems. You might lose your job or not get a job you were offered. This can affect your future jobs too.

But there are things you can do. You can learn about your rights. You can get help to deal with drug use.

Failing A Drug Test For A Job

Applying for a Job

  • When you apply for a new job, the company may ask you to take a drug test.
  • This is usually a urine test that checks for 5 different drugs.
  • If you fail the drug test, the company will likely take back the job offer.
  • But this may not happen with all employers. There could also be legal consequences.

Will I be told if I fail?

  • Yes, the company will have a Medical Review Officer (MRO) who will call you if the test is positive.
  • If you have a prescription for certain drugs, you may still get the job.
  • If the test was wrong and showed a drug you didn’t take, you can ask to take the test again.

How does Amazon handle failed drug tests?

  • Amazon asks job candidates to take a drug test before hiring them.
  • They use a mouth swab test and don’t give any warning, so people can’t wait for the drugs to leave their saliva.
  • If you fail the test, what happens next depends on the job you applied for.
  • If it’s a safety-sensitive job like shipping, you will likely be fired.

Will other employers know?

  • The fact that you failed a drug test will only be shared if your new employer checks with your old employer.
  • Your old employer may not tell them about the failed test.

Failing A Random Drug Test At Work

Drug tests at work

  • Random drug tests are common in many US workplaces.
  • The tests can check for just marijuana or up to 10 different drugs and medicines.
  • Your rights depend on the laws in your state and the company’s policies.

Explaining a failed test

  • Drug tests are done to make sure employees can work safely.
  • What happens if you fail depends on your employer and what drug you tested positive for.
  • Marijuana is legal in many states, but companies may still not allow it.
  • If you think the test was wrong, you can ask to take it again.

Retaking the test

Keeping your job

  • If you have a drug addiction, the company may require you to get treatment before you can come back to work.
  • Companies have different policies on whether you can keep your job after failing a test.

Failing A Probation Drug Test

Probation drug tests

  • Drug tests are very common for people on probation.
  • Your probation officer may test you regularly or randomly if they think you’re using drugs.
  • The first violation usually just gets a warning and community service.
  • But more violations could lead to your probation being revoked, depending on your criminal record.

If you have any other questions, talk to your employer or probation officer. They can explain the rules and next steps in your situation.

Why Do People Fail Drug Tests?

There are a few reasons why someone might fail a drug test:

  • Using drugs or alcohol
  • Taking certain medications
  • Eating foods like hemp seeds or poppy seeds
  • Using products like mouthwash or hand sanitizer

Types Of Drug Tests

There are different types of drug tests:

  • Saliva tests: These check for recent drug use in the last 1-2 days. They are fast and easy, but a bit less accurate.
  • Urine tests: These check for recent and past drug use. They are very accurate, but there is a risk of cheating.
  • Hair tests: These check for drug use over the last 90 days. They are very accurate and hard to cheat.
  • Blood tests: These check for very recent drug use, in the last 1-2 days. They are accurate but expensive.

Frequently Asked Questions

Artistic representation of THC molecules under microscope to illustrate a failed drug test for weed

How Often Do People Fail Drug Tests?

In 2022, about 4.6% of workers failed drug tests in the US. This is the highest rate since 2001. More people are using drugs like marijuana, amphetamines, and cocaine.

Does A Failed Drug Test Show Up On A Criminal Record?

No, a failed drug test from a job usually doesn’t show up on your criminal record. Only drug-related crimes may show up on a criminal background check.

Does A Failed Drug Test Stay On Your Record?

The failed drug test will be in the records of the employer who did the test. But they usually keep this information private. However, for some jobs like truck driving, the failed DOT drug test may be available for future employers to see. The results stay in a database for 5 years.

What Happens If You Say No To A Drug Test?

If you say no to a drug test, consequences like losing job opportunities or facing disciplinary actions can occur. Employers might interpret refusal as drug use, impacting your employability.