Arizona employers can require that you take a drug test to qualify for employment but aren’t obligated to request one. If taking a test is a requirement, the employer must let you know and has a right to refuse to hire you if you won’t agree. 

A pre-employment drug screening is one test where a “positive” is a bad thing. If you’re applying for a position in the state and your potential employer requested that you take one, it’s important to know the law. This can help you navigate any tricky situations and handle everything the right way.

Drug Testing in Arizona

Federal laws don’t place many limits on drug testing for employers, but it does require them to test specific safety-sensitive industries. Among these industries are aviation, transportation, and Department of Defense contractors. Apart from these types of jobs, each state and the companies within it can decide whether or not to drug test.

Can Pre-Employment Drug Tests be Supervised?

Even if an employer can legally tell you to take a drug test, they can violate the law in the way they choose to conduct it. Requiring you to take your test in front of someone could potentially be a violation of privacy. If you have questions about whether your privacy was violated, speaking with an employment law attorney is a good idea.

What Happens if You Fail a Pre-Employment Drug Test?

If drug testing is a condition for your potential employment, the employer may not hire you if you “fail” the test by having drugs in your system. Sometimes, the results are inconclusive (or invalid) or the company can ask you to take a second test, though.

Can You Fail a Drug Test and Still get Hired?

It’s possible. If you test positive for substances in your system, you can ask to take a second test to confirm the results. Many employers will say no to this request as it can may cost more than the original test they gave you. If they aren’t willing to offer you a second test, you can offer to cover the cost on your own. Ask if the employer can recommend a secondary testing provider you can go through, to help your credibility. If they say no, you may want to seek legal advice to see if you have any other options.

Legal Consequences for a Failed Test

Can you get in trouble for failing a pre employment drug test? Should you worry about your test results getting to legal authorities or staying on your record?

State Laws

Companies aren’t obligated to report positive drug test results to law enforcement authorities. Each state has laws regarding privacy for drug tests, and Arizona is one of the states the explicitly guarantees the confidentiality of your test. 

While the exact meaning of “confidentiality” in this case may be open to interpretation, giving out this information could lead to the risk of legal trouble for the employer. Therefore, it’s pretty unlikely that you can get in trouble for your test results.

Background Checks

Does a failed pre-employment drug test show up on a background check? When you take a drug test for a job application, the company that requested the information can see the result. However, the information doesn’t go on public record, so it won’t show up on background checks that other employers give you in the future. You can still get a different job with another company with a passed test, even if you failed a previous test with one employer.

If your failed drug test results in a revocation of your parole or probation, the information might go on public record. In this case, a prospective employer might see the information when they give you a background check.

Can Your Urine be too Diluted for a Drug Test?

Drug test lab results usually come back as positive, negative, positive-dilute, or negative-dilute. A “dilute” result means that the person who took the test was so hydrated that their urine was diluted. A positive-dilute test typically counts as a positive test since the drugs were still detected in your system. 

A negative-dilute is usually considered inconclusive and requires a retest. However, some employers consider a negative-dilute test a passed test and will hire the person who submitted it. Some people specifically use this as a tactic to pass a test or to submit an invalid result, while others end up with a diluted result because they just drink lots of water.

Potential Legal Claims with Drug Testing

Although the law in Arizona allows employers to require drug tests for job applications, there are potential legal issues that can arise. You may have a legal claim based on how they used the results or how they conducted the test. Here are a few examples:

Disability Discrimination

 If you’re taking meds for a disability, the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) protects you. This organization defines a disability as a mental or physical impairment that limits major life activities.

Some prescription drugs are illegal for most people but legal for those with a legitimate prescription. If you took a pre-employment drug screening and the employer rejected you because of a legally prescribed mediation you took for your disability, the company may be liable.

Other Cases of Discrimination

Discriminating against people in terms of employment is illegal in many cases. If an employer makes you take a pre-employment drug screening because of your race or another similar reason, they may be legally liable.

Defamation

If you tested positive on a drug test and the employer makes that information public, you could have a valid legal claim. Publicizing private information in a negligent way is potentially illegal. If this happened to you, you should consult a legal professional as soon as you can.

Figuring out your rights regarding employment can be tricky because there are both federal and state laws to consider. Plus, the rules are always changing, and individual companies all do things differently. Having an employment law attorney on your side can help you settle any confusion you have and come up with a plan of action if an employer treated you unfairly.

Call our Employment Law team at (480) 464-1111 to discuss your case today.

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