Does a Failed Pre-Employment Drug Test Go on Your Record?

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 the DOT Return to Duty (RTD) process with a qualified DOT 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 position. 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. However, the employee will remain in the random testing pool and may be subject to random DOT drug tests. 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 RTD process and the observed DOT 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?

It is possible to get a DOT-regulated job after a failed pre-employment DOT drug test. You must complete the RTD process. This includes an initial assessment and evaluation with a qualified DOT SAP, personalized recommendations for treatment/education, a follow-up evaluation with final approval from the same SAP, followed by an observed RTD test ordered by your employer or potential employer. Successful completion of the process will allow you to go back to safety sensitive work.

American Substance Abuse Professionals, Inc. (ASAP), has a network of more than 5,000 qualified DOT SAPs throughout the United States and its territories. We match employees with a DOT SAP near them so they can return to work as quickly as they can comply with the process. Our clients have an 85% success rate in successfully completing the SAP process to be eligible to return to safety sensitive work with our guidance. The enrollment process is quick and easy.  Call 888-792-2727 x177 to enroll today. #worksafely


Do you need Substance Abuse Professional Services?

ASAP has a nationwide reach in all 50 states and U.S. territories. Our trained and knowledgeable team will assist you in understanding the process and signing up. It’s fast and easy to enroll with ASAP! 888.792.2727 x607

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