Employee Drug Testing
An overview to employee drug testing
Welcome to America ; land of the free and home of the Drug-Free Workplace. If you're applying for a job, or simply holding onto one, your workplace has the right to drug test you.
Employee drug testing is the legal right of the federal government - if you're a federal employee, you can expect it to happen. But drug testing is also available to any private sector employer who chooses to implement a federal drug testing plan.
After Reagan's Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 spread to cover private employees working under federal contract, the rest of the country leaped onto the employee drug testing bandwagon. Although the law depends on your state and local jurisdiction, it's not considered strange to have to submit a urine samples to keep your job.
The most common method companies use to test their employees is urine testing. It's less invasive than a blood test, yields solid results, and can be outsourced to a local hospital or collection agency for procedure and testing.
Urine is normally tested for five main types of drug. Companies, if they so choose can test for other drugs, including legal ones such as alcohol and nicotine, but most employers will stick to the more common five.
If you fail your employee drug testing, it is unlikely that you will be arrested, but there are consequences nonetheless. If you are testing as part of the interview and employment procedure, you most certainly will not receive a job offer. If you are being tested as part of routine employee testing, you may be fired, or put on suspension, and probably be forced to seek out counseling. Some companies will provide this, some will even cover the financial cost, but not all employers will do so.
So who tests? Plenty of companies test, and you can see why with 3M, 5/3 Bank, America Online, Daimler-Chrysler, Ford, Johnson & Johnson, Lear Corporation, Microsoft, Nokia, Time Warner Cable and Verizon.
But here are some that you may not have considered: Ace Hardware, Blockbuster, BestBuy, Carnival Cruise Lines, Coca-Cola, GEICO, Goodyear Tire, Home Depot, LensCrafters, Office Depot, Perdue Farms, Quaker Oats, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Schwan's Frozen Foods and Tyson Foods.
And some that may appear unexpected: 7-11, Dick's Sporting Goods, Frito Lay, GEICO, Hallmark, McDonald's, Nabisco, PetSmart, Sam's Club and Waffle House.