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What to Do if You Have a False Positive Drug Test

Receiving the news of a false positive drug test can be devastating for most individuals. The shock of receiving such news can trigger feelings of anxiety and depression for a lot of people as their future holds a myriad of uncertainties. Recent data shows an increasing number of people and job applicants are failing drug tests in 2019, and employers across the nation are worried that their workforce is going up in smoke.

As a matter of fact, statistics also suggest that actual “positive” drug test results are at the highest rate they’ve ever been at over the last 12-years, which is based on over 10 million workplace drug tests conducted in 2018, and this is putting a lot of pressure on employers looking for drug-free workers. As a result, drug testing in the workplace has become a staple for most businesses nowadays.

What to Do if You Have a False Positive Drug Test at Work?

If you have recently taken either a urine, saliva, hair, or blood test and failed your drug screening at work, your first step is to talk to your boss or supervisor. In most professional environments, a human resource officer (HRO) or supervisor is the person that you should immediately contact and schedule an appointment with as soon as possible.

It’s important to understand that: Just because you received a false positive drug test result doesn’t mean this is the end of the world, and it doesn’t ensure the end of your job. There are a lot of things that can cause a false positive drug test. A false positive can occur from the medications that you’re prescribed, the foods you eat, the liquids you drink, and even over-the-counter medications and supplements that you consume. For more information on what can cause a false positive on a drug test, click here.

It’s also important to understand that you have certain rights that entitle you to a retest to confirm your innocence. During the meeting with your boss or supervisor, bring all of the supplements and medications you’re currently taking, and be ready to provide details about the amounts and dosages. There are a lot of supplements and prescription medications that can cause a false positive.

Your supervisor will make notes about the supplements or medications and either ask the lab to run a second screening known as a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) test or make an appointment to have another drug test conducted. The information that you provided can then be used to rule out a false positive drug test.

Can Employers Randomly Drug Test Without Having Reasonable Suspicion?

This all depends. There are a lot of states in which statutes mandate “reasonable suspicion” in order to drug test an employee. Employers who have violated this law have been successfully sued. It’s important to understand that state laws vary, while in some states, employers in the private sector are allowed to conduct random drug testing of their employees without reasonable suspicion, yet in other states, reasonable advanced notice must be given.

This may sound like good news for individuals who may have been drug tested in certain states without reasonable suspicion. However, the courts tend to believe that no suspicion is required for those who may pose a risk to property damage or human injury. What this means if you were using illegal drugs is that it won’t help your case to dispute a false positive drug test, even in states requiring reasonable suspicion. On the other hand, if you were clean, there are certain measures that can help you on how to dispute a false positive drug test.

How to Dispute a False Positive Drug Test

The answers about what to do if you have a false positive drug test are complicated because the laws vary so much from state to state, but we do have some useful answers for you. Whether you received a false positive for cocaine, THC, methamphetamines or other illicit drugs, you have the right to request a retest and prove your case. For employers who refuse to listen to your argument, you can file a dispute, hire a lawyer and sue them.

Most workplace disputes can be started by filing a grievance against your employer with the state labor board. This will generally get the ball rolling in the right direction for a retest because employers know the consequences of not complying with state laws. This will give your employer the option to retest a portion of the original sample or conduct a new drug test. Keep in mind, depending on the state that you live in, you may be required to pay for the retest. Yes, it may be an inconvenience, but it’s a lot cheaper than losing your job and source of income.

Another piece of information that can help to aid you in your dispute is that companies who have 15 or more employees are required to adhere to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). This is important because there are certain conditions that an employer must provide to an employee before a random drug test can be conducted, such as time off for rehab or counseling. If for any reason at all, your dispute is not being heard by your employer and you lose your job as a result, you should immediately contact an attorney who specializes in workplace drug testing laws.

The Conclusion About False Positive Drug Testing

Hopefully, we answered your questions about what to do if you have a false positive drug test, but it’s also important to understand the legality of a drug test if you are guilty. When employers meet the conditions set forth by federal and state drug testing laws coupled with the verification of a state-certified testing lab, the results are highly reliable in a court of law and almost impossible to beat under any legal challenges.

False positives are very common within the workplace, and sometimes you are faced with legal challenges to prove your case. However, you can gain the upper hand and use one of our guaranteed detox kits or cleansing solutions and eliminate the worry of a false positive for any random drug test altogether.

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