Last Updated on October 14, 2022 by Fair Punishment Team
In the U.S. and numerous other western nations, drug testing is a rather common practice.
Even in states where marijuana use is permitted, some employers still forbid their staff members from using the substance and may even fire them if they are caught using it.
This is particularly prominent in workplaces where the employees are working with heavy machinery, or have any other role that requires them to be completely sober and in-the-moment.
If you recently used recreational drugs and are scheduled for a pre-employment drug test, you may be quite anxious about the impact your results will have on your job offer.
In this article, we will let you know what will happen if you fail your test, and what it will mean for future employment, including the one that you are currently applying for.
So, let’s get into it.
What Happens If You Fail A Pre-Employment Drug Test?
You could experience a few outcomes if you fail a drug test required for work.
You might not be allowed to apply for a certain job with a company, or you could be able to challenge the outcome, depending on the state in which you live.
Various options will be available depending on a number of variables.
We can’t tell you exactly what will happen if you fail your drug test because of this reason alone.
You might also be curious about how you’ll learn your results.
Continue reading, and we’ll do our best to assist you with the general knowledge we have.
Potential Outcomes Following Failing A Pre-Employment Drug Test
Although failing one of those drug tests may sound like a very miserable experience, since each state in the U.S. has its own regulations and customs, the repercussions of failing vary from region to region.
You might not be hired for the job in question if you fail a pre-employment drug test that a potential employer has requested following an assessment.
Even though it’s the most frequent outcome, failing a drug test might not always conclude in quick disqualification in some situations.
Here are a handful of potential outcomes that may occur following the failing of a pre-employment drug test:
- Your job application may be terminated, and you won’t receive employment from that specific company.
- Note: Some companies may give you the opportunity to reapply for a position at their workplace at a later date, while others will not allow you to.
- You may be asked if you are a recreational drug user. If this is the case, you may be given an opportunity to take another test at a later date.
- You may still be considered for the role if the company is having an especially difficult time filling the vacancy for which you have applied.
So, this may make you feel a little more optimistic about getting that job offer.
These outcomes all depend on which state you’re applying for a job in, and what their views on specific drugs are.
Keep in mind, though, that most businesses would reject your offer if your test is positive, so if you know a test is coming up, don’t use this as an excuse to keep using recreational drugs.
How Do You Get Notified If You Fail A Pre-Employment Drug Test?
Although the results of the tests will be disclosed to you and your prospective employer individually, you will always be made aware in some way if you fail a pre-employment drug test.
However, keep in mind that you might not receive the findings at the same time as your employer, and if they do, they might have already decided to reject your application if they learn about it first.
Businesses that use alcohol and drug testing programs employ individuals with the title of medical review officer.
The medical review officer, or the MRO, will review the data received, and may contact you if anything comes up positive on the test, letting you know that you have, ultimately, failed your drug test.
Sometimes the MRO may approach the business first before coming to you.
If this occurs, if your employer decides not to hire you due to your failed drug test, they may or may not share this information to you.
Regardless of whether you failed your test, it will eventually be disclosed to you legally.
This will likely occur through a letter posted to your address, or you may receive a phone call instead.
Will Your Future Employers Get Notified If You Fail A Pre-Employment Drug Test?
Your failed drug test won’t be made publicly available so that other businesses may find information about it.
However, if you reapply there, it’s probable that the company that tested you will keep the results on file.
There was once a period when hiring managers were permitted to phone your current one and inquire about your wellbeing, including the outcome of any drug tests.
These days, your previous employer is not permitted to share any data regarding the outcomes of any drug tests due to the 1996 implementation of the HIPAA laws.
Your safety and the safety of any other employees is ensured by not enabling your previous employer to disclose this data to third parties.
They won’t thus have an impact on employment elsewhere.
However, it is important to note that the Department of Transportation is authorized to contact a candidate’s prior DOT employers to learn whether the candidate has ever failed a drug test.
How To Avoid A Pre-Employment Drug Test? (And How It Will Affect Your Chances Of Getting Employed)
Drug testing techniques can cost businesses a sizable amount of funds.
Prior to actually making an employment offer, if a potential employer asks you to complete one, it often signifies they require all of their employees to be drug-free.
However, take into consideration that you must always give your permission before taking any tests in pre-employment drug testing situations.
Therefore, you can decline a drug test if you believe that your results may come back positive.
Declining to cooperate, however, can be a warning sign and is unlikely to result in a job offer.
If you decide not to take the test, the company will likely take that as a sign that you do take recreational drugs, judging you without even having the proof.
Overall, therefore, refusing a drug test may appear worse than taking one and failing one.
Your chances of accepting that employment offer will be drastically reduced either way.
As we mentioned before, not every company will decline your job offer if your test comes back positive.
They may decline the offer if you decide not to take the test, however, so you’re generally better off taking the test and facing the consequences.
Overall, you should be comforted knowing that failing a drug test is not always the end of the world.
Yes, failing a pre-employment drug test will lessen your chances of receiving that job offer.
You already knew that before reading this article.
However, there is a chance that you may be given the opportunity to retake the test, especially if you contest it, or disclose that you are not an avid, day-to-day drug user.
The best advice that we can give is to never avoid taking the drug test.
This will lessen your chances of getting the job even further, as you won’t even get a chance to explain yourself, or retake the test at another time.
We hope you found this article helpful.