You have just arrived at work, probably hiding your hangover under a scarf and dark spectacles after a night of alcohol and possibly, drugs. You have a hunch that the previous night is going to cost you something. It just happens that immediately you get to work, your boss decides to take drug tests randomly from his or her employees. Here’s where luck runs wild.
Now you are surfing through your phone, wondering if the exercise is legal. Will you lose your job if you test positive for drug substances? Well, it is entirely legal for bosses to conduct drug tests from their workers if they suspect the use of substances that could explain low-performance tracks. So, what happens after you test positive?
Do you know your rights?
For pre-screening tests before employment, new hires must give consent and authorization before they undergo tests for illegal drugs. Unfortunately, your boss doesn’t need permission from current employees to run drug tests. Through the alcohol and substance abuse policy that covers all workers, your employer is certified to take drug tests at your workplace randomly. The policy also outlines the legal measures to be taken once an employee tests positive.
How long do drugs stay in your system?
Most employers will go for the urine test as it is fast. Although it’s not an excuse to use substances while on a payroll, fortunately, most drugs will be flushed out within a few days. Alcohol stays six to twenty-four hours since you put your last glass down. Substances such as cocaine, heroin, codeine, and opiates can last up to seven days within the system. Marijuana can stay present in the system for up to thirty days. The policy must outline which drugs have been passed for testing in a particular state to avoid wrongful action.
For instance, marijuana is legal in some states. Does it mean testing positive for marijuana prohibits the employer from firing you despite recording low performance from marijuana use?
Possible outcomes after failing drug test
The contract signed during your employment phase will determine the next course of action after you test positive for substance use. Consequences may include:
- Firing- in most cases, your employer will not fire you on the spot unless it is a recurrent habit. If this is your first time, your boss may give you another chance to prove yourself. They might push you into going for rehabilitation if you are already an addict. You will then resume duties at your workplace with a clear mind. Should you repeat the same mistake again, they are right to terminate your employment status immediately.
- Deny you a job position- if you are a new employee going through pre-screening, your positive drug tests may be a red flag for the new employer. They have full rights to turn you down and ask you to seek help before re-applying for the job position.
- Retain your employment status under certain conditions- the law protects every individual seeking addiction treatment while under employment. If you test positive for drugs, even if it was your last warning, but you can prove to your employer that you have been getting professional help, you stand a chance to hold on to your employment status. Your employer may decline to promote you until you prove your worth for the position.
Can you counter positive drug tests?
Yes. As earlier mentioned, employers test for illegal controlled drugs. Marijuana, for example, is a commonly tested drug. Nonetheless, many states have joined the bandwagon allowing the use of medical marijuana and in some cases, even for leisure purposes. You might be excluded for using marijuana, especially if it was for medical treatments such as cancer, pain, or glaucoma. If discriminated against despite tabling all these hard facts, you are eligible to sue your employer. Also, lab errors in drug tests are quite common. If you test positive and are confident you haven’t been using drugs, you could consider challenging the results.
Many employees contest against drug tests in fear that their employers will fire them. Your boss has full rights to fire you if your performance is low or you have had a series of misconduct due to the influence of drugs. If they suspect that you have been using drugs and you fail to take a test, your employment status might be on the line. Don’t panic. Take the test and go with the flow.
Are you afraid of losing your job due to the use of uncontrolled substances? Do you wish to seek treatment? Contact us today at 844-639-8371 and let us help you get the treatment you need to secure your employment status.