Random Drug Testing: What Employees Need to Know

Random Drug Testing What Employees Need to Know
March 16, 2023

Employers often use random drug testing as an easy means to keep the workplace safer. Furthermore, employers have opted to continue running these tests since drug test positivity reached a 16-year high in 2020. Drug tests can increase workplace safety by discouraging drug and alcohol abuse. The hope is to decrease the likelihood of injuries or accidents in the workplace by deterring drug usage.

However, recent years have seen significant changes in workplace drug testing regulations. As such, employers and workers alike should familiarize themselves with the modifications. Knowing the rules for your area can assure you that your company complies with local laws. Here is crucial information to help you understand more about workplace drug testing.

Random drug tests happen when employees get randomly chosen to take a drug test. Typically, they do not receive advanced notice for the drug test. You may encounter two types of these tests. This article will explain both.

First, one test comes from the Department of Transportation (DOT). Some companies in specific industries must take the DOT random test. This test checks for:

  • Amphetamines
  • Phencyclidine
  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine

Failing the test will lead to a confirmation test.

Another type of drug test is the non-DOT test. Companies not regulated by DOT conduct this test. Your employer can conduct random drug tests as long as the state allows it and the company complies with relevant state and local laws. Employers often use urine tests, but they might use other types of tests. Failing the test could lead to termination or counseling, depending on the company’s policies.

As stated above, your employer must obey state laws when conducting random drug tests. However, some states banned random drug tests. The following states either prohibit random drug testing or place limits on it:

  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • California
  • Montana
  • Alaska
  • Massachusetts
  • West Virginia
  • Rhode Island
  • New Jersey
  • Vermont
  • Pennsylvania

It is important to check the laws for drug testing in your workplace, as you may learn about limits for drug testing employees. For example, more states have placed limits on marijuana testing for employees. They also limit how employers can use the evidence of marijuana use from drug tests. However, many people find that employers still discriminate against marijuana usage. Consider running a self-background check to see if you have previous arrests or convictions. Knowing ahead of time can prepare you for explaining and assuring employers that the convictions will not interfere with your work.

Get a head start on your next job opportunity by running a self-check today.