When can companies drug test new hires? (2022)

When can companies drug test new hires? (1)

When can companies drug test new hires? (2)

Can companies drug test new hires?

Yes, companies often drug test new hires. There is no federal law that prevents an employer from making you take a drug screen to get a job. State laws may vary, but marijuana is still federally illegal, so you can be tested in most states, even where medical or recreational weed is legal. If you are thinking about starting a new job, it’s important to know a drug test could be in your near future. That said, not all companies test for drugs.

In-Depth Answer:

Being forced to take a drug screen by the company you currently work for or are interviewing with may seem unfair. However, drug screens aren’t made to keep you from working. Businesses are responsible for their workers, products and property. Drug-use is related to work injuries and other workplace concerns.

Does making me take a drug test to get a job violate my rights?

The federal government and most states allow pre-employment drug screening. If you have heard drug screens are illegal, you may have heard it from a case called Lanier v. City of Woodburn. This case said it is illegal to drug test someone to get a job because of the 4th amendment.

However, this case only applies to public employers in Oregon, not private businesses or in other states. So, if you aren’t applying for work in Oregon, you will still have to take a drug screen.

(Video) Why are some employers doing away with drug tests?

What states don’t allow drug testing?

Some states, like Alaska, have no restrictions on drug-screening, while others, like California, have very specific guidelines for pre-employment testing. Some states, like Rhode Island, limit how or when a drug test can be given to a prospective employee. It is a good idea to look online for your state law and make sure you are being treated fairly.

Can I be drug tested if marijuana is legal in my state?

In states where weed is legal, drug testing is more complicated. Because marijuana is federally illegal, employers who receive federal money still test for THC during the hiring process.

When can companies drug test new hires? (3)

Although in some states, like Maine, employers are not allowed to test for THC, but it is legal to test most everywhere else. In states, such as Oklahoma, where medical marijuana is legal, employers still test for weed. Even if you have a prescription for THC in Oklahoma, you can still fail a drug test if the test shows you have THC in your system.

In most states, a private business cannot control your use of marijuana except on their property and time. This means your private employer can set their own rules about drug-use of their employees both on and off the job. Some companies have a no-tolerance policy meaning you cannot use marijuana on or off the job (you will often see this for companies with high-risk jobs such as electric utilities, truck drivers or medical field associates). Others, particularly in states where weed is legal, don’t mind if you partake off the clock but you cannot smoke or be high on the job.

In many cases, medical marijuana is prescribed for someone who suffers the effects of a disability. The American Disabilities Act protects people who work and have a qualifying disability. However, marijuana is federally illegal and using medical marijuana is not protected by the ADA.

Most companies can still test for THC and you can lose your job if you fail for now. There are several cases in court around the country which may change the laws.

Legal weed may keep you from taking drug-testing in a few states but laws vary. It is important that you understand your state law and how it applies to you.

Pre-Employment Drug Testingby State (as of 2019)

State NameDrug Test RestrictionsNo Drug Test Restrictions

(Video) Can employers still drug test for marijuana?

New Hampshire**
New Jersey**
New Mexico**
New York**

North Carolina
North Dakota**
Rhode Island**
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia**
*Recreationally Legal Weed
**Medically Legal Weed
***Both Recreational & Medical Legal
***May require notice/offer

Cana company drug test me after I’m hired?

If you are worried about having to take a drug test to get a job, things get more complicated once you have the job. You can be tested after an accident, randomly or for reasonable suspicion. These tests often come without notice so be sure to read up on your companies on/off the job drug policy – especially if weed is legal in your state.

When can companies drug test new hires? (4)

Are random drug tests illegal?

Random drug tests are legal in some states, like Kentucky, and illegal in others, including Rhode Island and Vermont. Some states, such as Connecticut, require employers to give a reason for making employees take a random drug screen. You could have to take a random drug screening based on where you live and your company’s policy.

What is a reasonable suspicion drug test?

Reasonable Suspicion” is a common practice where employers in many states can make an employee who is acting like they are using drugs take a drug test. To be tested for reasonable suspicion:

  • You are seen at work showing signs of being on drugs.
    1. You are seen at work showing signs of being on drugs.
    2. Slurred speech
    3. Unable to focus
    4. Overly tired
    5. Extremely hyper
    6. Anxious
    7. Stumbling
    8. Abrupt changes in behavior
    9. Hostility
  • You have been seen using drugs at work.

Will I be drug tested after an accident at work?

If you have a work-related incident that damaged property or injured an employee, a drug screen can be required in many states. If your drug test shows drugs in your system during the accident, you can lose your job.

What if I refuse to take a drug test?

If you refuse to take a drug test, you can be let go. If your company has a written policy that says you can be fired for refusing a drug screen, and asking you to take the test doesn’t violate any other laws, they can end your job.

What happens if my drug test has positive results?

You could be fired if your drug test shows you have drugs in your system. As long as the workplace drug policy is clear and was provided to you while working for the company, you can lose your job. Some companies offer a rehabilitation program as a way to help you both keep your job and break the cycle of addiction.

What will happen during a drug test?

So, what drugs will you be tested for? Employers may test for many different types of drugs, but the employers are most likely to test for these five drugs:

(Video) There's a growing business in helping employees evade drug tests

When can companies drug test new hires? (5)

  • THC
  • Opiates
  • Phencyclidine
  • Amphetamines
  • Cocaine

You have to do the test at a lab or at the office where you applied. You will fill out a form that will give you some instructions. Someone will tell you how to properly perform the test. If you don’t follow the instructions, you may fail the test.

For most urine tests, you will be asked to leave all personal stuff outside the bathroom, including anything in your pockets. You may be asked to leave the door open, the water turned off or not throw away trash. You may be told not to put on the lid or not to tip the test.

When you are done, the bathroom may be inspected for evidence of tampering. Most tests have strips which show evidence of fake pee. This means your test will be checked to see if it is fake, if something was added or if you used someone else’s urine. Depending on the process, you may find out if you passed before you leave or told later.

If you are given an oral strip test, you will take the test at the desk of your recruiter. You will be given paperwork, instructions and a then a test strip to put in your mouth. After your time is up, you will put the strip into the tester. Again, results may be immediate or you may be contacted later.

Can I get in trouble for faking a drug test?

You may be tempted to fake the drug screen by using synthetic or someone else’s urine. Unfortunately, most companies are wise to this tactic. Drug screen kits now are able to detect synthetic products and can catch borrowed pee, as well.

Fake or synthetic urine is illegal in New Hampshire and Indiana. Currently, eighteen other states are considering similar laws. Purchasing these products could come with its own risks soon around the nation.

You may get lucky by passing the test and landing the job, but how long will your luck hold out? By continuing to use drugs and working while impaired, you put yourself, others and your employer at risk. It’s safer just to be honest.

What happens if I have an accident at work when I’m high?

According to the US Department of Labor, 65% of workplace injuries are a result of drug and alcohol abuse. Employers lose $81 billion dollars yearly because of employee drug use, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Inc. Using drugs makes it hard for you to do your job safely. If you hurt someone or something at work, you can lose your job.

(Video) Employers say workplace marijuana testing rules lacking

Up to 40% of workplace deaths are the result of substance abuse. Attempting to work while under the influence puts you and others at risk.

What happens if I cause property damage while high at work?

The business is responsible for keeping not just their employees safe, but also their equipment, materials and product. A workplace injury rarely happens without involving some form of material or equipment. When company assets are damaged, they must be repaired or replaced, which adds to the cost of the accident.

Why does anyone care if I get high outside of work?

You are a part of your team and your attitude affects everyone. Coming to work under the influence of any substance will affect your attitude. Weed may make you feel relaxed, but you may also seem lazy, tired, self-centered or unfocused.

Other drugs, like meth, may cause you to feel joyful and energetic, but you may be perceived as aggressive, hyper, talkative, distracting, abrupt and jittery. Under the influence, you may have arguments or fights which escalate and managers get involved. These situations will affect your reputation and ability to move up in or even keep your job.

Why does anyone care if I miss work?

Injuries are not the only problem you may have to deal with. Many people who abuse drugs but still work are frequently absent or late to work. A binge takes time to recover from, and there are side effects from drugs like getting sick or feeling “off.”

When you miss work, everyone suffers because productivity decreases and projects are delayed. Attendance issues have greater consequences for your reputation or cause you to lose your job.

Whether you have a family at home or you live on your own, your actions affect others. Your absence from work not only decreases your paycheck, but it also increases the work for your team. Shifts may be extended to make up productivity. The overtime can cause parents to be late picking up children or cause friends to break commitments.

Why is getting high such a big deal at work?

Not only does your absence from work cause your team to work late, but coming to work high creates more mistakes on the line, damaged product, and missed deadlines.

Also, at work related to substance abuse. A study found that 80% of employees who used drugs stole from their job site to support their habit. Not only theft from the business but also from fellow employees.

(Video) Should local businesses stop pre-employment marijuana drug testing?

Stealing from your employer or co-workers has legal consequences. If caught, you could be facing fines as well as jail time. If you happen to work in a federal trade zone, for example, you could face fines of up to $250,000 and up to 10 years in prison.

What should I do if I do drugs and need a job?

Employers are responsible for the safety of their workplaces. They drug test to ensure the quality of their work environment. If you feel your rights have been violated, be sure to check your state laws or consult with a lawyer. However, if you are concerned about passing a drug screen, you have choices.

  1. Wait to apply – some substances can be out of your system within three days, others take up to 90 days. Give yourself some time to think about your future and let your body get clean. In a few days, you may be feeling and thinking differently. If using an illegal drug is preventing you from having a better life, is it worth it?
  2. Find help – If you are ready to walk away from your habits, but don’t know where to start, there are many addiction recovery programs. Find local listings forAlcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous, Celebrate Recovery, rehabilitation centers orcounselorswho would be happy to help you on your road to recovery.
  3. Consider another career – Some industries, such as foodservice and many retail stores, do not require drug screensto get a job. Freelancing is another option, whether you are taking photos, writing blogs or offering other creative services.
  4. Start your own business – You can create your destiny and make your own rules bybecoming an entrepreneur. Whether you begin a landscaping business or an Etsy store, you are in charge.

When can companies drug test new hires? (6)


What happens if you fail a drug test for a new job? ›

Depending on your company's policy, failing a drug test could lead to disciplinary action or you being dismissed. If your company has a zero tolerance policy to drugs, just the positive test could be seen as 'gross misconduct' and you could be dismissed immediately or suspended while there is an investigation.

Can my employer make me do a drug test? ›

Drug testing and your rights

Your employer may decide to test employees for drugs. To do this, however, they need the agreement of employees. This should normally be given where your employer has grounds for testing you under a full contractual occupational health and safety policy.

What drug test is most common for pre employment? ›

Urinalysis – A urine test is the most common form of pre-employment drug testing and is typically conducted once a conditional offer of employment has been sent. A urine test can show traces of drug use even after the effects of the drug have worn off and remain in the body for an extended period of time.

How long does drug stay in your system chart? ›

How Long Will a Drug Stay in My Body?
DrugIn BloodIn Urine
Amphetamines12 hours1-3 days
Barbiturates1-2 days2-4 days
Benzodiazepines2-3 days3-6 weeks
Cannabis2 weeks7-30 days
9 more rows

What should I say if I fail a drug test? ›

Common excuses for failing a drug test
  • It must have been something I ate.
  • I kissed my boyfriend after he smoked a joint.
  • My dentist gave me something strong for a sore tooth.
  • I ate a lot of poppy seed muffins for breakfast.
  • I failed because of second-hand marijuana smoke.
1 Aug 2018

Will I be fired if I fail a drug test? ›

As a general rule, an employer may terminate your employment (or refuse to hire you) if you fail a drug test. Depending on the facts of your case, you may be able to challenge the drug testing as a violation of your constitutional right to privacy. There may also be other legal issues that arise from drug testing.

Will I get drug tested on my first day of work? ›

For many employers, drug testing all new employees is standard. The test is typically done at an outside lab before your first day. Generally, it's a urine test and requires no advanced preparation on your part.

Do jobs drug test the same day as interview? ›

No that is separate. First you take drug test and background check. No the hiring process is over two month stage after applying you test and after testing you would interview. Drug tests are on different days from the interview.

Will CBD oil show up on a drug test? ›

Long story short, yes, CBD may yield a positive result on a drug test. There are certain actions you can take to determine whether the product you're buying contains the lowest amount of THC possible, but there's no guarantee that the labeling is accurate due to the lack of regulation of CBD products.

How long after interview do you get drug tested? ›

They'll drug test you on the spot and your background is checked over time. The drug screen and background normally takes three business days to a week.

How far back does a urine drug test go? ›

Opioids like heroin and oxycodone are detectable for between 1 and 3 days after last use. Stimulants including cocaine, meth, and ADHD medications are detectable for about 2 or 3 days. Benzodiazepines and MDMA generally flag a urine test for up to 4 days after last dose.

How far back does a 10 panel urine test go? ›

Some 10-panel drug tests are designed to test for drugs in hair samples. The drugs can be detected for up to 90 days when a hair sample is used. What this means is that the drug being tested for might no longer be able to be detected after these periods have passed.

What does a urine drug test reveal? ›

A urine drug screen can quickly, effectively detect some illegal and prescription drugs. Doctors, sports officials, and employers may request this type of test for various reasons. The screening can detect a range of substances, including cannabis, nicotine, barbiturates, and opioids such as heroin and methadone.

How long does it take to get drug test results for employment? ›

Negative results are usually received within 24 hours; however, a positive screen will require further testing that may take a few days up to one week. If the initial screen is negative, a medical review officer (MRO) will typically contact the employer with the results.

How long do drugs stay in hair and nails? ›

How far back can a hair drug test detect drug use? Hair drug tests have the longest detection period, and can typically detect drug use for up to 90 days. Depending on the drugs used, a hair sample can sometimes help determine when drug use occurred and whether it's been discontinued.

Can you reapply after failing a drug test? ›

A person who fails a drug test can ask to be tested again at a later date. If they pass the second time, that may be enough to clear the path toward getting hired. Still, this must be considered unlikely. Much depends on the employer, type of job and government regulations regarding an initial failed drug test.

Should I tell my boss I might fail a drug test? ›

1 attorney answer. You should absolutely tell your employer that THC may appear on the drug screening.

Does a failed drug test show up on a background check? ›

With a background check, employers are able to see any public record on file for the recruiting individual. Prior criminal convictions, including drug charges, are visible on a background check, but what is not visible is any prior failed drug test.

How do I dispute a positive drug test? ›

How Can I Dispute a False Positive Drug Test?
  1. Step 1: Get out in front of the issue. ...
  2. Step 2: Ask your doctor or pharmacist. ...
  3. Step 3: Ask to retake the drug test.
2 Jul 2021

Does Adderall show up on a drug test for a job? ›

Adderall & Drug Testing

You are most likely to test positive for Adderall on a urine test 72-96 hours after last use. Hair test: Though less commonly used than urine tests, hair tests offer a greater window of possible detection time. Traces of amphetamines can be detected for up to 3 months after last use.

What happens if a drug test comes back positive? ›

If a drug test result is positive, it means that one or more drugs were found in amounts that suggest drug use or misuse. Positive tests require follow-up testing because they may be wrong (false positives). The follow-up test is usually a test that provides more accurate results.

Do you do a drug test before or after orientation? ›

Drug testing is during the orientation. They give drug test before orientation and finger prints before the paper process! Before orientation , as well as background check.

Do they drug test at the interview or orientation? ›

They will drug test you right after the interview if they are interested and will offer you the job pending the background check.

Does target drug test at orientation? ›

Target drug tests at the end of the hiring process. The store manager will call you with an offer, and if you accept it, they will tell you where to go for the drug test. You'll receive a phone call from your store manager to schedule the orientation within a few days of passing your drug test.

Do jobs drug test right after interview? ›

In many states, employers have the legal right to test job applicants for drugs or alcohol provided the applicants know that the testing is part of the interview process for all employees. In most situations, the testing cannot be conducted until the applicant has been offered a position.

What reasons would you fail a pre-employment physical? ›

Failing a pre-employment physical or HPE can happen for a number of reasons, though often failing a drug or alcohol test can be the reason a candidate does not pass. This is particularly common for jobs involving driving or operating heavy machinery where sobriety is of paramount importance.

Do steroids show up in a drug test for work? ›

Anabolic steroids can also be found through urine testing. The ability of the test to find these substances depends on how much was used and for how long. Urine drug testing is widely used for testing for opioids and illicit drugs.

How long do you have to be clean to pass a DOT drug test? ›

Therefore, the normal standard is for the trucking companies to use hair follicle testing to check back 90 days for the presence of metabolites indicating drug use. Hair is cut as close to the scalp as possible. The minimum amount of time tested is normally about 1 month (1/2 inch).

What drugs show up in a 5 panel urine test? ›

A 5 panel drug test typically tests for commonly abused substances, including THC, Opiates, PCP, Cocaine, and Amphetamines.

What should you not do before a urine test? ›

- Avoid alcohol, coffee, tea, tobacco and strenuous exercise for 24 hours prior to collection and up to collection time. - Do not consume avocados, bananas, eggplant, pineapples, plums, tomatoes or walnuts for 48 hours before the test.

Can a drug test tell if it's synthetic urine? ›

If your fake pee has the same pure compounds and density as actual urine, testing companies may not detect it is a fake sample.

What does Adderall test positive for? ›

The use of Adderall can cause a patient to test positive for amphetamine but not methamphetamine. Amphetamine does not metabolize to methamphetamine.

How much hair is taken in a hair follicle test? ›

How much hair is needed for a hair drug test? A hair drug test with initial screen and confirmation requires 100 milligrams of hair (90 to 120 strands).

What does a detox shampoo do? ›

As we mentioned above, a detox shampoo is a step-up from traditional shampoos. It works to wash away product buildup, dirt, oils, and impurities from your hair for a super deep cleanse. Not to mention, it also works to provide a scalp detox, which can help to clear flakes and dead skin cells that weigh your hair down.

How does sweating affect a hair follicle test? ›

For example, drug metabolites in a person's sweat can travel up the hair shaft and may make it more challenging to determine when drug exposure occurred. Hard to detect low-level use: It can be difficult to detect low-level or one-time drug use or misuse using a hair sample for drug testing.

What happens if a drug test comes back positive? ›

If a drug test result is positive, it means that one or more drugs were found in amounts that suggest drug use or misuse. Positive tests require follow-up testing because they may be wrong (false positives). The follow-up test is usually a test that provides more accurate results.

Can you reapply after failing a drug test? ›

A person who fails a drug test can ask to be tested again at a later date. If they pass the second time, that may be enough to clear the path toward getting hired. Still, this must be considered unlikely. Much depends on the employer, type of job and government regulations regarding an initial failed drug test.

Does a failed drug test show up on a background check? ›

With a background check, employers are able to see any public record on file for the recruiting individual. Prior criminal convictions, including drug charges, are visible on a background check, but what is not visible is any prior failed drug test.

What happens if you test positive for drugs at work? ›

If you test positive for drugs, even if it was your last warning, but you can prove to your employer that you have been getting professional help, you stand a chance to hold on to your employment status. Your employer may decline to promote you until you prove your worth for the position.

Is there a difference between drug screen and drug test? ›

A drug test and a drug screening are often used interchangeably, but there are notable differences between the two terms. In general, a drug test is more extensive and accurate than a drug screening, whereas a drug screening provides faster results and is a more cost-effective approach.

What foods can trigger a drug test? ›

False-Positive Results
If you take or eat:You could test positive for:
Diet pillsAmphetamine
Sleep aidsBarbiturates
Poppy seeds*Opiates/morphine
Hemp food products**Marijuana
4 more rows

What vitamins can cause a false positive drug test? ›

Conclusions: Vitamin C in urine can cause significant interference with urine strip tests. A urine strip with a vitamin C indicator is useful to reduce the risk of incorrect results in regard to disease states.

What jobs are least likely to drug test? ›

Creative, entertainment, and self-employed jobs are the least likely to drug test.
  • Photographer.
  • Dog walker.
  • Film producer.
  • Graphic designer.
  • Writer.
  • Housecleaner.
  • Athletic trainer.
  • Florist.
6 Jun 2022

Can you still get hired if you fail an assessment test? ›

Yes you can still get the job. If you failed the assessment, You should ask for a lower position , learn all that you can and move your way up. A lot of managers started as janitors or cashiers.

How do I dispute a positive drug test? ›

How Can I Dispute a False Positive Drug Test?
  1. Step 1: Get out in front of the issue. ...
  2. Step 2: Ask your doctor or pharmacist. ...
  3. Step 3: Ask to retake the drug test.
2 Jul 2021

Can other jobs see if you failed a drug test? ›

In most cases, no. Previous drug tests are strictly private between an employee and their former employer. According to privacy laws outlined in HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), medical information may not be shared without the consent of the individual in question.

Are drug test results confidential under Hipaa? ›

[Find out more in "Guide to understanding HIPAA as an employer"]. Drug test results are considered to be confidential. Any medical information about an employee, including drug test results, should be kept in a separate file from general personnel records. As mentioned, PHI can only be shared on a "need-to-know" basis.

What do employers look for in a hair follicle test? ›

Hair drug tests typically test for cocaine, marijuana, opiates, methamphetamine, ecstasy, and PCP.

Should I tell my employer that I won't pass a drug test? ›

1 attorney answer. You should absolutely tell your employer that THC may appear on the drug screening.

Do they watch you pee for a drug test? ›

One of the most humiliating aspects of urine testing is that many treatment providers find it necessary to observe the drop. Which means they watch you pee. This is supposed to deter the use of fake urine or other adulterants that can allegedly mask the presence of drug metabolites.

How long will delta-8 stay in your system for a drug test? ›

Last Words. While delta-8 THC's effects last up to five hours in your body, the metabolites can stay in your system for up to 90 days. Luckily, the most common tests can detect metabolites for only a few days. However, if you are a chronic user, the test can yield positive even after 30 days.


1. Workplace drug tests for cannabis would be banned by California legislation
(KTVU FOX 2 San Francisco)
2. 18. Workplace Drug Testing with Dr. Charl Els
(Preventive Medicine at the University of Alberta)
3. The Law Works - Employee Drug Tests
(West Virginia Public Broadcasting)
4. NYC Bans Pre-Employment Marijuana Drug Tests
(Mahir Nisar)
5. Amazon no longer testing job seekers for marijuana
(Queen City News)
6. Finland PM takes drug test after videos show her partying

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