Answering the question “What Happens if I Fail a Drug Test” really depends on the circumstances of the testing.
There are many circumstances for drug testing:
DOT employer drug testing
Non-DOT employer drug testing
Probation drug testing
Court-ordered drug testing
Student drug testing – like nursing schools
Personal drug test
Your mom or dad asks you to take a drug test
DOT employer drug testing – you will not be hired for the job or if an existing employee you will be removed from your DOT safety-sensitive covered position. You will be referred to a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) for the required return to duty position. You might also be fired from the job depending on the company’s drug-free workplace policy.
Non-DOT employer drug testing – these are companies not regulated by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). You will not be hired for the job. If you are an existing employee, depending on the company’s drug-free workplace policy you may or may not get fired. If you do not get fired, you may be required to enter into a program for assistance with your substance abuse issue.
Probation – if you fail your probation drug test, you violate the terms of your probation and you may end up going back to jail.
Court-ordered drug testing – if you fail the court-ordered drug test you will more than likely lose your court case. This could mean losing your kids in a child custody battle or have adverse consequences in a divorce case.
Student drug testing – like nursing schools – admissions departments typically require a negative drug test result for admission into the school program that you are entering.
Personal drug test – depends on why you are getting the drug test. You might already know you are positive, just getting confirmation.
Your mom or dad asks you to take a drug test – Mom and Dad love you and are concerned for your safety. If you fail the drug test, perhaps you need help with substance abuse. Get help, it can save your life.
As an employer, if your employees fail the drug test you must follow your drug-free workplace policy. Failure to do so will expose your company to liability. Always have a clear policy on what your company will do when an employee tests positive or refuses a drug test. Always share the policy with your employees.
For more info on the drug testing industry, drug and alcohol testing regulations and upcoming changes, and a whole lot more, visit the NDS Blog regularly:
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