It is common for applicants to worry about pre-employment drug tests. Many Americans use illicit substances so they’re concerned that they’re going to fail the drug test.
If you fit into this category, you’ll want to learn more about the pre-employment drug testing procedure. How long does it last?
How long will the drugs stay in your system? What happens if you fail your drug test? Within this guide, readers will learn more about the pre-employment drug testing procedure and the potential outcomes.
What Is A Pre Employment Drug Test?
First and foremost, you’ll want to learn more about the pre-employment drug test. What is it? When applying for a job, the company in question wants to learn as much about you as possible.
Therefore, they’re going to conduct a background check. They’ll use this to determine if you’ve been arrested in the past.
They can also use the background check procedure to learn more about your educational history and employment history.
They want to make sure that they’re hiring the best applicant for the position. In addition to a background check, many companies will perform pre-employment drug tests.
Doing so will make a huge difference since the company can avoid hiring potential drug addicts. The drug test is used to make sure that you haven’t been using drugs within the past few days or weeks.
However, it is important to understand that the drug testing policy depends on several factors, including the company and your state. Below, you’ll learn more about the most common drug test for employment.
What Pre-Employment Drug Screening Is Used?
When attempting to get a job, you’re likely going to be required to get a pre-employment drug screen. This is done to ensure that you’re a good applicant for the position.
The test will help confirm that you’re not a regular drug user. Each company is different. However, some drug tests are more common than others.
Some employers require their employees to submit saliva drug tests. Ultimately, this is the easiest and cheapest test. It can be conducted immediately and in the office.
There is usually no need for the applicant to visit a medical clinic. As the name suggests, the test requires you to submit a saliva sample.
Another option is the urine drug test. It is the most common. When you’re asked to take a urine drug test, you’ll need to visit a local medical clinic.
Once you’ve arrived, you’re going to be monitored while you urinate in a cup. Then, your sample will be given to the nurse and sent to a lab. From there, it will be tested for drugs.
Although these are two of the most common pre-employment drug tests, there are others. For instance, you may be asked to take a blood or hair test.
Pre Employment Drug Test Laws
Consumers should know that each state has unique pre-employment drug test laws. The laws are going to greatly impact a company’s ability to perform drug tests on its workers.
Some states are less restrictive so employers have more control over the drug testing process. In other states, companies face numerous restrictions so they’ll have to follow specific guidelines.
In Alabama, companies have the ability to drug test all of their workers. All employers have to follow these guidelines. Before doing so, they have to provide a conditional employment offer and the applicant has to receive the drug-testing policy.
In Alaska, all employers are required to follow these rules. In this state, the drug testing policy is not restricted. Employers have the right to not hire a worker because they’re refused to take a drug test. You can also refuse to hire any worker that has tested positive.
In Colorado, there are no state laws. Instead, employers are required to follow federal laws when applicable. West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming have no state laws. Either way, it is vital to learn more about the specific laws in your state.
They can greatly impact the company’s ability to drug test all applicants.
Interesting Read: How To Dispute A False Positive Drug Test?
How Does Drug Screening For Employment Work?
Applicants will usually be required to pass a drug test before they can get the job in question. With that being said, it is pertinent to be ready.
Otherwise, you’re going to find yourself in a difficult situation. However, it is important to learn more about each unique drug testing procedure.
Each testing procedure is unique in many ways. Depending on the type of job you’re trying to get, you may be required to take a saliva test, urine test, or blood test.
Although these tests all achieve the game goal, they’re unique in many ways. The saliva drug test is common for many entry-level positions. It is quick, easy, and affordable so it is a good option for many employers.
The saliva drug test is quick and convenient. It generally only takes five minutes to deliver your sample. Once you’ve done that, it will be sent to a lab and tested.
It usually takes 24 to 72 hours to get the results. The process is convenient and affordable so it is a good option for many employers. However, some companies want to find drugs that were used within the past few weeks.
These companies may decide to use urine drug tests. When they do this, the applicant will be sent to a nearby drug testing facility. While you’re monitored, you’re going to be required to urine in a cup.
Once you’ve finished, the sample will be sent to a lab and tested. The process is similar for hair and blood tests.
How Long Does A Pre-Employment Drug Test Take?
Once you’ve completed the applicant, you’ll want to get the job as quickly as possible. Just remember that the process is not quick. In many cases, it is going to take multiple days.
In others, it could take a few weeks. Therefore, you need to be patient. After the company contacts you, they’ll likely schedule an interview.
If you do well during the interview, you may receive a conditional job offer. Before you can get the job, you’ll have to pass a drug test.
You’ll be asked to take a urine test, blood test, saliva test, or hair drug test. The time it takes to get the results depends on the test. With a urine test, you’ll need to visit a local clinic and give a sample.
If you take a saliva sample, you can submit it to the employer before leaving. Then, the samples will be sent to a laboratory. Although it depends on the type of sample submitted, it normally takes a few days or weeks to get the results.
Once this happens, you’ll receive a call from the employer. If you’ve passed the drug test, you’ll receive the job. It is important to be patient because the wait can be longer when the demand is higher.
If the country is experiencing a hiring boom, there is a good chance that the wait will be lengthier. To find out the specifics, ask the individual in charge.
They’ll walk you through the procedure so you’ll know what to expect.
What If You Refuse A Pre Employment Drug Test?
Drug screening for employment is common across the United States. If you’re trying to get a job, you’ll likely be required to pass a drug test.
Therefore, you should be ready for it. However, there is always the opportunity to refuse to take it. Although this is one way to handle the drug test, it likely isn’t the best option.
The problem is that refusing a drug test is going to make you look guilty. The company will likely suspect that you refused to take the test because you can’t pass. They will immediately believe that you’re on drugs or were on drugs.
When you refuse a drug test, you’ll be treated as if you failed a drug test. Therefore, there is a good chance that you’re going to not get the job.
If you’re already employed and you refuse to take a drug test, you’ll likely be removed from the roster. Suffice to say, it is best to take the test and make sure that you can pass.
What Happens If You Fail A Pre-Employment Drug Test?
Unfortunately, people are going to fail pre-employment drug tests. It happens more often than you might believe. When it happens, the applicant will face a handful of repercussions.
In most cases, you’re going to take a 5-panel urine drug test. Since many companies aim to provide a drug-free workplace, they refuse to hire people who are abusing drugs.
If you’ve been offered a position with the company, you’ll likely lose that opportunity. The Medical Review Officer will study the results of your test. Once they’ve done this, they should call you.
There is a possibility that you’ll be able to prove that you have a prescription for the drugs in question. If you can present it, you might get the job. There is always a chance that you’ve received a false positive. If this happens, you might get the opportunity to take another test. If you haven’t been abusing medications, it is wise to fight the failed drug test. Doing so can help you secure the position.
What Will A Pre-Employment Drug Test Check For?
When taking a pre-employment drug test, you’ll likely be checked for a handful of medications. The company will check for the most commonly abused medications.
Although it depends on the specific test the company is using, there is a risk that you’re going to be drug tested for opiates, cocaine, amphetamines, THC, and PCP.
If you’ve been using one or more of these substances, there is a good chance that you’ll fail the drug test. Some companies will use a 6-panel urine drug test.
If this is the test you’re required to take, you’ll also be checked for barbiturates. If you know that you’re going to be tested, it is wise to try to find out more about the test ahead of time.
Either way, it is pertinent to make sure that you can pass the test so you can get the job. Depending on the type of position you’re trying to get, you may also be tested for alcohol.
Which Companies Drug Test?
There is a good chance that you’ve submitted a job application with many companies. Doing so will prove to be a good idea. After all, you want to expand your options.
Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Instead, you should apply for positions with money companies. Some American companies perform drug tests but others do not.
However, it is important to understand that these policies can change regularly. Therefore, it is wise to check with the company first. For instance, 24 Hour Fitness usually does not conduct pre-employment drug tests, but it could.
Below, you’ll learn more about America’s top companies and the drug tests they often use.
- Amazon usually uses saliva drug tests
- Apply usually conducts urine drug tests
- Aldi uses urine drug tests
- Autozone may not use pre-employment drug tests
- Comast uses urine pre-employment drug tests
- Walmart often uses urine drug tests for pre-employment purposes
- Walgreens typically requires applicants to take urine drug tests
Again, the specifics may change depending on the circumstances. Be sure to learn more about the companies in your area so you’ll know what to expect.
How To Pass A Pre-Employment Drug Test
Finally, you’ll want to make sure that you’re going to pass the pre-employment drug test. The best way to do that is by not using drugs.
It is wise to stop using illicit substances for several weeks or months before submitting the application. Doing so will help ensure that your system is going to be free of drugs.
Stopping a few months in advance will reduce the likelihood that your system will have traces of drugs when the test is conducted. Using techniques and products to beat the test is not recommended. If you try to beat a drug test, you’ll likely get caught so don’t bother.
FAQs on Pre Employment Drug Testing
How Do You Know If You Passed A Pre Employment Drug Test?
The employer should notify applicants, regardless of the results. However, some employers do not make it a habit to reach out to applicants who failed their drug screens. It may take between 1 and 3 business days once the employer receives the drug screen report to contact the applicant.
Employers will oftentimes rush the process when the job position needs to be filled as soon as possible.
What Does Pre Employment Drug Test Look For?
Illicit and controlled substances, such as amphetamines, opiates, marijuana, benzodiazepines, methamphetamine, alcohol, and cocaine.
What Happens If You Fail A Pre Employment Drug Test?
It depends on the employer’s pre-employment protocol. However, most employers are not willing to ignore a failed pre-employment drug test report. There is no evidence that shows the employer’s willingness to permit applicants to retail a pre-employment drug screen.
Employers do not report failed pre-employment drug screens to their local law enforcement agencies. A drug screen report is a confidential document that cannot legally be shared with third parties without the applicant’s consent.
How Long Does A Drug Test Take To Come Back For Pre Employment?
It depends on the type of pre-employment drug test. For example, the urine test report is returned within 24 hours and 5 business days. The saliva drug screen report is returned between 24 and 72 hours.
The blood drug screen report may be returned within 24 hours or up to 5 days of the submission. Hair drug screen results generally take between 5 and 10 business days for the employer to receive the report.
It is not unusual for employers to delay contacting applicants, regarding their drug screen reports.
What Is The Most Common Pre-Employment Drug Test?
The urine drug screen is more commonly utilized by employers throughout the United States. Employers prefer the urine drug test because it is more affordable, accessible, tests for up to 10 illicit drugs, efficient, and convenient.
What Are They Looking For In A Pre-Employment Drug Test?
Pre-employment drug testing helps employers identify applicants with a controlled substance(s) in their systems. The most commonly utilized pre-employment drug test is urine screening.
The test detects alcohol, opiates, marijuana, benzodiazepines, amphetamines, cocaine, and methamphetamines.
When do Do Pre-Employment Drug Tests happen?
It depends on the company’s pre-employment drug screening protocol. Most companies set a time frame that requires applicants to complete their drug screen before a specific deadline.
Some employers require the applicant to submit a drug screen sample before the interview comes to an end. Others will give applicants up to 48 hours to submit their samples at a designated laboratory or drug testing center.
Will I Pass My Pre-Employment Drug Test?
There is no way to predetermine the results of a pre-employment drug test. Only you know if the drug screen will be returned clean. People who regularly use illicit substances will oftentimes tell themselves their drug screens will come back clean.
This is the case, even though the last use was only a few hours prior to drug screen sample submission. There is one exception to this theory if the drug screen does not test the controlled substance used.
Robert Gomez was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He currently lives in Northern California with “the wifey,” “the kids,” “the dog,” and “that cat,” 🙁 He is also a former journalist who has interviewed murderers on death row. Felonyfriendlyjobs.org was born to help ex-felons get a second chance in life.