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Drug tests have become a common occurrence for employment and other educational, athletic, or hazardous reasons. Employers mainly conduct these drug screenings as a method to narrow down the list of potential new hires and also deter any current employees from illicit drug use. Safety risks and liabilities are not ideal situations for any work environment.

If you undergo a drug test and believe that something triggered a false positive result on your test, there are specific actions you can take to amend the situation at hand. If you need to know the next steps in the process, here is how to fight a false positive drug test.

Understand Federal Drug Testing Laws

Employers often set drug and alcohol-free work policies in place. At a national level, most employers are not required to have a specific program for drug testing. However, a majority of states have their own set of individual regulations that ensure work environments are drug-free in both public and private sectors.

As an employee or potential hire, you must understand the legality of these laws and the steps an employer must take when a member of their staff fails a test. Companies are obligated to be consistent with handling positive result cases, so do not take the process personally. There should be time to contest the results before an adverse action occurs.

Know Your Rights

In order to know how to fight a false positive drug test, you need to know your rights. While testing methods have greatly improved to lessen false-positives, such results can still occur. You have the ability to speak to your employer to see what options are available. Keep in mind that if an employee or potential job candidate desires to dispute a positive test result, the appeal process may vary based on the industry or state the company operates within.

Talk To Your Employer About How To Challenge It

While false-positives can be a part of workplace drug testing, a well-implemented testing policy can benefit both the employer and the employees. Many workplace testing programs have a designated individual, such as a medical officer, who can speak to test participants about their legal prescription drugs or supplements, which are the most common reasons for false positive results. Someone at the company should provide details about who employees can speak to about this.

Another possibility for a false positive result could be a simple mistake on the first test. You can ask for a retest of your sample from the laboratory that examined it, as typical protocol calls for test samples to have two portions. One is usually tested right away, and the other is saved for a possible retest. If a retest comes back positive, it may be time to speak to professional legal counsel for a different appeal. Either way, you have methods within your grasp to protect your rights and fight for a fair opportunity.