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Should I disclose accidental drug exposure before pre-employment drug testing?

Madison, WI |

I was living with a host family in Peru and found out after the fact they had served me coca tea. I might have to take a pre -employment drug test this week. It is unclear if I will test positive or not. Should I disclose this possibility prior to the test, or only if confronted with a positive result? My instinct was to be up-front about it, but I am concerned that it could be seen as a confession of violating the drug free workplace policy and get my job offer rescinded. Or is anything I disclose to occupational health confidential under HIPAA and they only report the results as positive/negative? Also, if the test occurs after I have already technically been offered and accepted the position, would this be considered being fired because of drugs and affect my ability to get other jobs?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Best answer

    I think your first instinct is the best. Be up front about it then there is no surprise if positive. Same is true if you have been eating poppy seed muffins. Drug tests are given post offer, pre-eployment. They can't have you take the drug test unless they have offered you a position. If you fail the test they can revoke the offer. Best to tell them upfront about the cocoa tea then if you test positive for that substance you can provide verification of your placement with host family in Peru. Inform the facility of any drugs you are taking so they can exclude any positives for those drugs.
    What the testing facility reports depends on the agreement you sign. If your offer is revoked due to failed drug test it shouldn't have any effect on future employment, except if an application specifically asks you about it. (Not typical). Never lie on an application by omission or commission, you can be terminated for cause for doing so, and for cause terminations usually result in denial of unemployment benefits.
    Consult with a local employment attorney for your home state laws and regulations.
    All the best.

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  2. Depends how long ago this was? if it was more than a week or two ago, don't worry about it unless the test is hair.

    In accordance with the Avvo community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does it form an attorney-client relationship. You should seek counsel in your geographic area regarding any specific questions.

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