Failed Drug Test From Former Employer

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Keith D.'s Comment
member avatar

Here's the deal. Last spring I was working with a retail company and failed their random drug test. I got terminated because of this. Then rebounded and got another job passed their pre-employment drug screen. Then a few months after decide trucking would give me the opportunity to get back on my feet. I enrolled in trucking school passing the schools drug screen. Graduated school now got to find a job. Having trouble when companies (2 so far) find out I got fired for a failed drug screen they want nothing to do with me. Wondering if anyone has any suggestions. I live in Ohio. Any type of advice would help. Thanks.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Hello Keith, and welcome to the forum!

One thing to keep in mind is that when you obtain a CDL you are agreeing to random drug testing not only by the D.O.T. but also any employer who has hired you as a commercial driver. So you can't count on smoking dope a little here and there and then cutting it out a few weeks before a drug test. The refusal of a random drug test is marked down as a failed drug test when you have a CDL.

The problem you are up against is that failed drug tests do not disappear, they are put into a data base that will be scoured by any potential employers. Your best option is to apply like crazy and see if you can get any takers. We have an application here that you can use to Apply For Truck Driving Jobs that you can send out to tons of places by only filling out the one application.

There is no standard D.O.T. waiting time period, but individual companies will set there own. Sometimes if they are needing drivers bad enough they will change their standards during peak demand periods.

Keith, I seriously wish you would have found us before you went to trucking school so we could have explained to you the whole Understanding Pre-Hires process. That way you could have gotten all this chasing a willing employer down out of the way before you ever spent your money at the driving school.

I wish you the best, but you are going to have to be persistent. Do not waste any time, apply like crazy and follow up with phone calls just a few days after sending out applications. If very much time transpires between the date you graduated your school and the time you start your job you will have another tough situation on your hands. It is very important that you act quickly and persistently if you want to make this happen.

One more thing Keith, you are going to have to go with who ever is willing to take you. At this point, don't be picky. If you can just get your foot in the door, do what ever it takes to stay put at that company for one year of safe driving. I don't care if it is killing you, in your case if you want to be a truck driver you are going to have to stick it out somewhere for that first year. Then other companies will take a much better look at you when you have proved yourself. The failed drug test will not go away, but your willingness to put in a year of safe driving will help to mitigate the negative effect it is having on you now.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Pre-hires:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Annee's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Failed drug tests do not come under the HIPPA laws. Failed drug tests are indicators of illegal activity, and are easily accessible.

I have to disagree here. I've worked in the staffing industry for about 30 years and during most of that time was responsible for drug testing. We would drug test our employees before sending them to the customer site and if there was a fail, we were never to give out the reason for the fail. Along with the drug test, we also did background checks so all the customer was told was the employee did not pass the pre employment screening. We never gave details, never. If the company decided to hire this person from us, they would then do their own testing.

I do believe this is a privacy issue regulated under HIPAA but even if it isn't, drug tests results are never put into a database for other's to see. This is standard for all staffing companies with thousands of employees so I can't believe smaller companies would post results somewhere into some massive database. Besides, there is no such database unless you're talking about government.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!
There is no such thing as a "failed drug test database"

Nowadays there basically is. From the Drug And Alcohol Brochure For Drivers:

A positive test result or a refusal requires the driver to be immediately removed from operating any CMV on public roadways. The employer must provide you with a list of acceptable SAPs (Substance Abuse Professionals) from which to choose to begin the “return-to-duty” process. This process must be completed before a positive or refusal driver can legally return to driving CMVs for any employer, including himself.

From Annual MIS Requirements: Do motor carriers need to report their drug and alcohol results to FMCSA every year?:

Motor carriers submit MIS (Management Information System) drug and alcohol reports to FMCSA upon FMCSA request. Every motor carrier shall prepare and maintain their previous year’s drug and alcohol MIS report in a safe and secure location, with controlled access, and make them available for inspection when requested by authorized personnel. These records should be maintained for a period of 5 years. See 49 CFR §382.403 for more information.

Every year FMCSA randomly selects a group of motor carriers to report their MIS results. If you are selected, you will receive a notice with a username and password to file your previous year’s MIS drug and alcohol results online. If you are notified by FMCSA to report your previous year’s MIS results, you are required to formally submit your MIS drug and alcohol results to FMCSA. See §382.403 reporting of alcohol and controlled substances testing program results in a management information systems. FMCSA expects a 100% response rate from motor carriers selected to report their previous year’s drug and alcohol testing results Motor carriers that don’t respond to the notice requesting submission of MIS results may be subject to civil penalties of up $1,000 dollars per day that the motor carrier fails to comply.

From the Overview Of Employer Requirements:

Will my results follow me to other employers?

Yes, your drug and alcohol testing history will follow you to your new employer. Employers are required by law to provide certain records of your DOT drug and alcohol testing history to your new employer, only when you sign a specific written release regarding that information. This is to ensure that, when necessary, you complete the return-to-duty process and your follow up testing program.

- See more at: http://www.transportation.gov/odapc/employee#violate

So failing a drug test will not only be recorded but you'll be required to see a Substance Abuse Professional and get cleared to return to duty.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Annee's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

If it is on HireRight then any employer will know. Remember, HireRight does more than just trucking.

Dave

HireRight is just one of many background companies that handle drug testing. HireRight will, and are required to by law, give you a copy of all background/drug tests that they ran on YOU if you request it. You have a right to see what others are seeing about you which is why this is free to you. HireRight cannot give this out to others unless you agree and you will know someone is asking because you will have to sign off on a HireRight (or other company) form approving this. Just because HireRight ran the test means nothing. This is private information and they would be in big trouble and subject to law suits if they gave out your private info to anyone without your permission.

If you want to see what's on your background check/drug you need to find out from the company what company they used to run the tests. This is the only background company that will have this information. If you call the past employers, they can tell you what company ran your info and they might even give you a copy of the background company report issued to them. But if you failed your drug test, you already know what they know because you were contacted by the MRI doctor so he can get your permission to give your failed results back to the company that ran the test. See how that works? Privacy is a huge issue in the medical field and NO ONE is giving out your information without your knowledge and permission.

I had company accounts for many background check and drug testing companies, HireRight included. This gave me access to my employees only. I promise you no one can see your private information unless you give them permission to look.

PanamaExpat's Comment
member avatar

Sounds like a real problem. I don't know if there is a DOT required time period you are going to have to wait out or not. Did you ask the recruiter what options you might have? Or how long they require before you can reapply?

Also try Western Express.... they are a second chance company from what I have read.

Best of luck to you and please if you plan to have a driving career stay off the drugs.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Keith D.'s Comment
member avatar

Also try Western Express.... they are a second chance company from what I have read.

I'll have to check them out. The recruiter told me his company's poliCy was 5 years. But didnt say anything about options or dot policy. Thanks for the reply though.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Great Answer!

Hello Keith, and welcome to the forum!

One thing to keep in mind is that when you obtain a CDL you are agreeing to random drug testing not only by the D.O.T. but also any employer who has hired you as a commercial driver. So you can't count on smoking dope a little here and there and then cutting it out a few weeks before a drug test. The refusal of a random drug test is marked down as a failed drug test when you have a CDL.

The problem you are up against is that failed drug tests do not disappear, they are put into a data base that will be scoured by any potential employers. Your best option is to apply like crazy and see if you can get any takers. We have an application here that you can use to Apply For Truck Driving Jobs that you can send out to tons of places by only filling out the one application.

There is no standard D.O.T. waiting time period, but individual companies will set there own. Sometimes if they are needing drivers bad enough they will change their standards during peak demand periods.

Keith, I seriously wish you would have found us before you went to trucking school so we could have explained to you the whole Understanding Pre-Hires process. That way you could have gotten all this chasing a willing employer down out of the way before you ever spent your money at the driving school.

I wish you the best, but you are going to have to be persistent. Do not waste any time, apply like crazy and follow up with phone calls just a few days after sending out applications. If very much time transpires between the date you graduated your school and the time you start your job you will have another tough situation on your hands. It is very important that you act quickly and persistently if you want to make this happen.

One more thing Keith, you are going to have to go with who ever is willing to take you. At this point, don't be picky. If you can just get your foot in the door, do what ever it takes to stay put at that company for one year of safe driving. I don't care if it is killing you, in your case if you want to be a truck driver you are going to have to stick it out somewhere for that first year. Then other companies will take a much better look at you when you have proved yourself. The failed drug test will not go away, but your willingness to put in a year of safe driving will help to mitigate the negative effect it is having on you now.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Pre-hires:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Just me's Comment
member avatar

With a non DOT related drug test where is the database and who maintains it? I beleive if any of this information is given out would be in violation of HIPPA laws. I doubt if any non DOT related drug test results would be given out.

DOT related testing is a whole nother ball game though.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Failed drug tests do not come under the HIPPA laws. Failed drug tests are indicators of illegal activity, and are easily accessible.

Keith D.'s Comment
member avatar

Man I couldn't ask for more. You guys are helping out a lot. Much appreciated. Like old school suggested I'm just Goin to apply to everyone I can think of and see if there is any takers.

Dave C.'s Comment
member avatar

How did they found out about your failed drug test if only for a retail job?

Keith D.'s Comment
member avatar

How did they found out about your failed drug test if only for a retail job?

Told them when they asked what was the reason for the termination.

Dave C.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

How did they found out about your failed drug test if only for a retail job?

double-quotes-end.png

Told them when they asked what was the reason for the termination.

being it was not a truck driving related job is it possible for them to find out this information if you did not tell them. i wonder if putting you quit the job or not even telling them about that job unless you worked there for some time would have changed there decission.

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