How Hard Is It to Get a Job after a Failed DOT Drug Test?

How Hard Is It to Get a Job after a Failed DOT Drug Test?

Failing a DOT drug test may temporarily derail your employment, but it is not the end of your career. Yes, it may be hard to get a job with a positive drug test on record, but there are steps you can take to speed up the process. Read on to learn how to maximize your job prospects after failing a DOT drug test.

Challenges You May Face after a Failed Drug Test

It’s important to understand why it may be difficult to get certain jobs after a failed drug test. If you work in a safety-sensitive field, such as a DOT-regulated job, you must complete a Return-to-Duty process before resuming safety-sensitive work.

With this in mind, there are challenges an employer may face that could sway them away from hiring you. They may have higher insurance premiums to pay, or they may simply have a no-tolerance policy in place. This is at the employer’s discretion, but it may limit prospects as you hunt for work.

Workers who complete the RTD process must submit to multiple random drug tests within the first year after completion. This may make scheduling and planning challenging on the employer’s side. There are many employers who are willing to work around these situations, but it may take time to find one in your specific field of work.

How to Get a Job after Failing a Drug Test

If you are a DOT-regulated employee, you must complete a Return-to-Duty process with a qualified substance abuse professional (SAP). The SAP will create a personalized set of tasks for you to complete before you can take an RTD drug test for re-employment. You can still work in general, but it cannot be in a safety-sensitive position until you finish the RTD.

Once you get through the SAP program, you can be approved for safety-sensitive work again. You could try to work for your old employer, or you could apply for new work. You may have a harder time getting responses than you did before the positive drug test. Your drug test results will remain on your record for at least 7 years, but there will be an indication that you completed RTD.

Do not try to hide your history. Your potential employer is going to see it no matter what. Focus on what you’ve done since then – substance abuse treatment, volunteer work, counseling, etc. Put your best foot forward and apply far and wide. Your persistence will pay off.

Can I Work for My Old Employer?

The Department of Transportation does not determine if you can be rehired; your employer does. They may have a policy that allows employees to return after RTD, or they may have a strict no-tolerance protocol. Either way, you’ll have to reach out to the employer to learn your options.

How Soon Can I Get Back to Work after a Failed Drug Test?

You can work in a field that is not safety-sensitive right away. You can get back to work in your safety-sensitive position after you complete your RTD program. The sooner you start working with a DOT-qualified SAP, the sooner you can return to work.

American Substance Abuse Professionals has an extremely high success rate. Approximately 85% of our clients get back to work after a failed drug test. We have over 5,000 DOT-qualified SAPs throughout the U.S.

About Steffy Alen