July 15th, 2014
Many people wonder what the consequences are for failing a drug test for employment. The answer is: it depends. There are a few possible scenarios from simply not getting the job you applied for to going to jail.
In case you test positive for substance use, the outcome then depends on your employer’s policy as well as on state and local laws. If failed a pre-employment test, the employer will most likely not hire you. If it is a random workplace drug test you may be fired. In this case, your state may deny you benefits like unemployment or disability compensation.
If your employer and the state that you live in don’t have a mandatory zero tolerance policy, you might still keep your job. Some employers can go as far as offering you the employee assistance program, or ask you to enroll into a drug treatment program without being fired. This can happen in case the enrollment into a treatment program will cost your employer less then hiring a replacement.
How about the worst case-scenario? Well, you most likely won’t get arrested for failing a drug test. However if you are caught carrying or selling drugs on the workplace, it’s a completely different story. If your employer reports you to the authorities, you may go to jail. At this point, you need to consider talking to an attorney.
You can always refuse to take a drug test, but in this case it is equated to failing.
One more thing. Keep in mind that you may fail a drug test due to a simple error. The error rates for drug screening are 5%-14%. If you are not a drug user, ask you employer to do a confirmation test.
In a nutshell, failing a drug test is a very unpleasant experience. You can lose your job, or even your freedom. If you know you will be facing a drug test in future, try to abstain from using. If you have used something but still have a lot of time before the drug test, you can try some natural methods that will accelerate the detox process. If the test is right around the corner, and you are panicking because you used just a few days ago, remember that there are plenty of products on the market that can help you pass the test without further complications.