The majority of companies have a drug testing policies to protect other employees and their business affairs in the workplace. When companies test for drug and alcohol, they are checking to see you are under the influence or are having adverse affects from use outside of work.
There are many situations where companies will conduct mandatory or random drug and alcohol testing depending on state laws:
- Pre-employment. Companies want to know that potential employees are drug free and not alcohol dependent. Refusal to take the drug and alcohol test generally means the company will rescind their offer.
- Safety violation or accident. Drug and alcohol testing is done as part of the investigation to decide the cause(s) of the accident. Expect companies to need you to submit to the testing immediately after the violation or accident.
- Suspicious behavior. If your boss or management believes you are acting odd or strange, you may be asked to submit to a drug and alcohol test.
- In some cases, you may be asked to take a drug and alcohol test especially if the position is classified as a high-risk position. Companies want to know they can count on you if they are going to promote you.
There are protocols for conducting a drug and alcohol test that the company will follow to insure there is no contamination or foul play.
If you are asked to take a drug or alcohol test and do take prescription drugs that may show up in your system, be sure to tell the tester what drugs you are being medically prescribed by a doctor. If some of those drugs affect your ability to work safely, tell your boss or Human Resources Department so that they can put you on a job that minimizes risk.
As an active employee, if you are found to have illegal drugs or alcohol in your body, there is a high probability the company will terminate your employment or place you on a leave of absence to correct the situation. The action they take will depend on the severity of the violation or accident and precedence (how they have handled past similar situations).