What's The Best Defense for a Positive Drug Test?
While most employers believe drug tests are infallible the truth is that a positive test is not the end of the world
A positive drug test is one of the most common ways people lose their jobs and watch their careers get flushed down the toilet. While many, if not most, employers believe drug tests are infallible- and that anyone who tests positive deserves what they get- the truth is that a positive test is not the end of the world.
Why? There are false positives. Some legal drugs and foods are known to trigger false positives. What's more, it is possible to get an illegal drug into your system without having taken the drug.
What to Do if You Test Positive
According to the attorneys at NOLO.com, the first thing you should do if you test positive is talk to your employer about it. Being evasive is the best way to ensure your employer will decide that the results of the test are accurate, true and that you don't belong on the payroll.
Consider the Possibility of a False Positive
Drug-testing programs at most places of employment usually have a medical officer who can shed more light on the subject, someone who understands that not all positive drug tests are conclusive. If they are honest and acting in good faith, they will say that upfront.
We recently posted an article on 14 common prescription medications and over-the-counter medications that are known to trigger false positives. In reality, there are many more than 14, and if you have been taking any medication or legal supplement, you should let your employer know right away. You should also do some research on the drug or supplement you take to find out if it is known to cause false positives. Keep in mind, that any substance may cause a false positive. It depends on your biology, your diet, the substance itself, and the type of drug test you have taken.
Consider the Possibility of a Faulty Test
For the reasons described above, sometimes drug tests can result in a false positive because the test itself is faulty. Drug tests can also become contaminated or get mislabelled. They do have expiration dates and they can fail due to a manufacturing error. If you are certain that your positive test was the result of an error, you should defend yourself to the best of your ability. If your employer does not know this, then he or she should be educated about it. You may have to take your case to court, but it will be worth it not only to keep your job but to protect your reputation and your employability.
Obtain Legal Counsel
If you have been the victim of a false positive, for whatever reason, you should defend your innocence. Begin by talking to your employer about it. Explain that you are certain the test was faulty. If they are reasonable, you should be able to get a retest. If your employer is not agreeable, you should consult a lawyer and fight to prove your innocence.
Your job may be on the line, but if you don't beat a faulty positive, you may never work in your chosen career path again. Know the facts and go in prepared!