Does a Failed Pre-Employment Drug Test Go on Your Record?
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) requires a pre-employment drug test for all safety-sensitive employees. This includes airline workers, school bus drivers, train engineers, truck drivers, and much more. If you fail or refuse a pre-employment DOT drug test, it will hinder your ability to get a safety-sensitive job. You will have to complete a Return-to-Duty program by a DOT-qualified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) before applying for work.
In this guide, we'll explore how long a failed pre-employment drug test will stay on your record and what you can do to return to work.
When Are Pre-Employment Drug Tests Required?
Pre-employment DOT drug tests are required when someone applies for a safety-sensitive job. This may be the person's first time working in a DOT-regulated position, or it may be an application for a new position. For instance, if a flight attendant applies for work at a new airline, he or she will need to complete a DOT pre-employment drug test for the position.
Furthermore, pre-employment drug tests are required when a previously-terminated employee gets rehired, as long as the termination was 30 days or longer. The exception to this rule would be for an employee temporarily laid off due to seasonal work changes or other circumstances. If the person remains an employee of the company during the layoff period, he or she will not have to complete a new pre-employment test. The employee will need to remain in the random testing pool and may be subject to random drug testing as a result. See Part 382 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations to learn more about how this applies to CDL drivers.
Failed DOT Drug Tests for Commercial Drivers Get Reported to the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse
As of January 6, 2020, employers and consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPAs) are required to report failed/refused drug tests for CDL drivers to the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. This includes pre-employment drug tests, random drug tests, post-accident drug tests, and others. The Clearinghouse does not include pre-employment drug tests that are not required by the DOT. For example, if you failed a drug test for a job at a restaurant, that would not show on your Clearinghouse record. If you failed one for work as a school bus driver, it would go on your Clearinghouse record.
How Long Do Failed Drug Tests Stay on Record?
The positive drug test remains in the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse until you successfully complete the Return-to-Duty process and follow-up testing. After that, the information stays in the Clearinghouse for five years. An employer may not access your DOT drug testing results without your consent. However, refusing to provide consent will prevent you from performing safety-sensitive job duties.
Can I Get a Job after a Failed Pre-Employment Drug Test?
Yes, it is possible to get a DOT-regulated job after a failed pre-employment drug test. In order to do this, you must complete a Return-to-Duty process outlined by a DOT qualified Substance Abuse Professional (SAP). This process includes an initial assessment and evaluation, personalized recommendations for treatment/education, follow-up evaluation with final approval from your SAP.
American Substance Abuse Professionals, Inc. has over 5,000 DOT-qualified SAPs in the United States, and 85% of our clients have successfully returned to work after a failed drug test. If you would like to apply for work after a failed pre-employment drug test, our professionals are here to assist you. Call 888-792-2727 x.177 to enroll with a SAP near you.