Failing a drug test can drastically reduce your chances of getting hired, but not entirely
Anyone applying for a job and who fails a mandatory drug test is highly unlikely to get hired. If a company is spending money and taking the time to test a prospective employee for drugs, the chances they will ignore a failed test and hire anyway are slim.
Does that mean it is game over? Not necessarily. A person who fails a drug test can ask to be tested again at a later date. If they pass the second time, that may be enough to clear the path toward getting hired. Still, this must be considered unlikely.
Much depends on the employer, type of job and government regulations regarding an initial failed drug test. Jobs that are highly sensitive to the drug issue – such as employees operating public transportation vehicles – will face extremely strict standards. The federal government requires any company regulated by the Department of Transportation to not hire anyone who fails a drug test for jobs considered “safety-sensitive positions.”
When you take a drug test, the employer is the only party authorized to see the results. They cannot share your information with other prospective employers. A failed test will also not become part of the public record. That means if you fail a drug test for one company, you can still get a job if you pass the next test you take for another employer. Some firms might ask about drug tests when they call a previous employer for a reference. In this case, the former employer may disclose a failed drug test, although this is highly unlikely. They may say you were fired or rejected over a more general “company policy” reason.
Marijuana is among the most common drugs looked for in screenings. The issue has gotten somewhat more complex in states where marijuana is now legal. Some employers may still refuse to hire if an applicant tests positive for cannabis, even if purchasing it and using it is legal.