Pre-employment drug screen question


Hello all,

This is my first post but I have lurked for a while. I have looked over many posts relating to this, but can't really find an answer. I have looked at the state laws regarding confidentiality as well. So I will attempt to be concise.

Took my pre-employment drug screen following offer of employment and listed every medication I was on.

Well, 3 weeks went by and I received a call from HR stating my initial test came back positive. I never received a call from the MRO. The HR rep stated that she saw my list of prescriptions, which I knew it would show up.

Here is the unusual part. She stated she had talked with "managers", in which I am not sure who she meant, and it had been agreed upon that I come in and retake the test and show the HR personell proof of my prescription. I agreed, and retook the test.

Here is my issue with this:

-in person she assured me this was confidential, but over the phone she said that she had talked with the "managers", and agreed to let me retake the test.

-Why was she notified of a positive test before I was even contacted by the MRO?

-the first specimen was a split specimen, so why was it necessary for me to retake the test?

-Aren't specimens considered valid for a while if properly stored?

This is my first job, and this whole chain of events seems unusual. I had to retake the test last week and still am starting orientation this week. So does anyone have any advice regarding how I should follow up this situation to ensure the first test is not attributed to my personal file in any way? I feel my confidentiality may have been violated if this was in anyway discussed with nursing managers on me having to retake the drug test due to a positive, from valid prescriptions.

MunoRN, RN

8,058 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 10 years experience.

The MRO has the final say in "drugs of abuse" drug testing; when employers are only screening for illegal drug use. However, employers aren't limited to testing for illegal drug use, and so long as they can make a work related argument, they can also test for legally used and prescribed medications, in which case your employer will receive notification of a "positive" result based on the list of medications they provided the lab that they wanted applicants screened for. In the case of a simple drug abuse screen, they will only get a "positive" or "negative" result. But employers can also say they want applicants screened for all opiates and benzos for instance, regardless of prescription, so even if you present the lab with your valid prescription, the employer will still receive the results. Confidentiality in cases where a work related argument is made by the employer is only limited to those with a "need to know", which means your results might be shared with anyone in the organization who would need that information to make a decision on that issue, which may include your manager.