Everything To Know About Drug And Alcohol Testing For Work

Posted on: 7 April 2021


Everyone makes mistakes, but when drugs and alcohol are involved, mistakes can become deadly and costly. Therefore, employers require employees to stay drug- and alcohol-free while working. For this reason, whether you're just applying for a job or you've been working the same job for years, you need to understand drug and alcohol testing.

Pre-Employment Drug and Alcohol Screenings Are Common

Many employers require you to pass a drug and alcohol test to qualify for employment. Some businesses do this by choice because of the benefits. An employee who abuses alcohol or drugs may be less reliable, or they may increase the risk of a workplace accident if they attend work drunk or high.

Some employees require every employee to pass a drug and alcohol screaming prior to employment, but many companies do random screenings. However, this can become an issue if the employer selectively tests certain applicants instead of making it random. For example, a company that only screens people of color is committing racial discrimination.

In some cases, it is legally required for an employer to request drug/alcohol testing. For example, if you are applying for a job that is regulated by the US Department of Transportation, the employer is legally required to send you to alcohol and drug testing.

Ongoing Drug and Alcohol Testing May Be Necessary

Even after you get the job, you may be subject to occasional drug and alcohol testing. Commonly, employers require employees to undergo drug/alcohol testing after a work accident. This is often required by the workers compensation provider. Workers comp won't pay for your injuries if they were caused because you were intoxicated or high, so screening is a fast and easy way to rule this possibility out early.  

What Happens If You Fail a Drug or Alcohol Test?

If you fail a drug or alcohol test, a few things could happen. In some cases, you may lose your job or not get the job for which you are applying. If you are already employed and fail one test, your employer will likely give you another chance, especially if you are a good employee otherwise.

If an employee is drunk or high at work, however, there is a high chance they have an addiction, and addiction is protected against some discrimination. Therefore, in many cases, if you can prove you have an addiction and are seeking help, you may be able to keep your job.

If you've made a mistake and been drunk or high while at work, you may be worried about losing your job. In most cases, however, as long as you are a good employee, your employer will give you another chance, especially if the failed test pushes you into drug and alcohol treatment. To learn more, talk to a drug and alcohol testing provider in your area.