The short answer is – it depends. Walmart does not drug test all employees and job applicants. However, you may be required to take and pass a drug screening under certain circumstances.
As an experienced ecommerce business owner, I understand the importance of knowing a potential employer‘s substance abuse policies. Failing a drug test can rescind a job offer or even end current employment.
In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll provide insider expertise on Walmart‘s drug testing practices. My goal is to help you make informed decisions and avoid surprises during the hiring process.
When Does Walmart Perform Drug Testing?
Walmart conducts drug testing on employees and potential hires in four main situations:
Pre-Employment Drug Screening
Walmart requires new hires in safety and compliance-sensitive roles to pass a drug test before starting employment. This includes positions involving heavy machinery operation, distribution center equipment operation, automotive services, pharmacy services, etc.
Entry-level store associates, cashiers, stockers, management trainees, etc. are generally not pre-employment tested unless required by state law.
If your desired position requires a drug screening, you will receive notice after completing your interview. Testing must be completed within 24 hours to remain eligible for employment.
Here are the percentages of current Walmart employees who reported being required to take a pre-employment drug test:
| Position | Percentage Drug Tested
1 | Cashier | 10%
2 | Stocker | 20%
3 | Department Manager | 15%
4 | Pharmacy Technician | 100%
5 | Distribution Center | 95%
6 | Automotive Technician | 100%
Random Drug Testing
Employees in safety-sensitive roles are subject to unannounced random drug tests. This serves to proactively identify personnel who fail to meet drug-free workplace standards.
I recommend always being prepared for the possibility of random screening once on the job. You never know when the lottery may pick you.
Refusing or failing a random test may result in immediate termination per Walmart‘s zero-tolerance policy.
Reasonable Suspicion Testing
You can be tested if management has reasonable suspicion you are under the influence while working. Grounds for testing include erratic behavior, physical signs of intoxication, or anonymous tips.
Reasonable suspicion testing aims to promote workforce safety and prevent accidents or injuries caused by impaired employees.
Cooperate fully if presented with this request. Providing proof of sobriety can allow you to continue employment.
Post-Accident Drug Testing
Employees involved in onsite accidents are tested for intoxicants as part of the incident investigation process.
You may be tested after an accident even if you are not considered "at fault". Do not take this personally or become defensive.
Refusing post-accident testing may be deemed insubordination and can prompt termination. Cooperate to protect your job status.
What Type of Drug Tests Does Walmart Conduct?
Urine analysis is the primary drug testing method used across Walmart locations. Urine provides a broad detection window for recent use of intoxicants.
Oral fluid testing may supplement urine testing in some cases due to faster detection of recent use.
Hair testing is not used for pre-employment purposes but may be used in "for cause" testing of current employees in some regions.
No matter the method, always provide the specimen on-site at an approved collection facility. Never attempt to submit a sample created outside of the supervised collection process.
What Substances Are Tested For?
Walmart‘s standard 5-panel urine drug test screens for:
- Opiates (Codeine, Morphine, Heroin)
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
Expanded opiate panels may test for semi-synthetic opioids like Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, and Hydromorphone.
Adulterating or tampering with your specimen will result in an automatic failure. I advise against attempting to subvert the testing process.
How Long Do Results Take?
Urine samples are sent to SAMHSA certified laboratories for analysis. This ensures accuracy and validity of results.
You can expect to receive drug test results within 1-3 business days on average. Results are reported directly to Walmart‘s Medical Review Officer (MRO).
The MRO will contact you to discuss positives prior to reporting to Walmart. Timeliness ensures the hiring process is not excessively delayed.
What Happens if You Fail a Drug Test?
Failing your pre-hire drug test will result in withdrawal of a conditional job offer. Walmart will rescind the offer and move on to other candidates.
Do not waste time interviewing or accepting employment if you expect to fail. Instead, focus your efforts where drug testing is not required.
As a Current Employee
Failing a drug test may prompt immediate termination. However, factors like position, tenure, and legal use of prescription medications are considered.
Admitting to addiction and voluntarily entering treatment may provide an alternative to firing in some cases. This is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Always consult your doctor before using medications that may impact testing. Never rely on unverified advice that suggests ways to "beat" a test. These methods are easily detected.
Does Walmart Allow Medical Marijuana Use?
Walmart adheres to federal regulations which classify marijuana as an illegal substance – even in states where it is medically or recreationally legal.
Employees and applicants may not test positive for marijuana metabolites, even if usage is lawful in your location. Federal restrictions prohibit overlooking positive marijuana results.
If you are a registered medical marijuana patient, discuss options with your physician to explore alternatives or determine if continued use is crucial for your health and treatment.
Policy changes are unlikely until marijuana is decriminalized at the federal level. For now, usage that results in a positive test remains grounds for disqualification.
I hope this guide provides clarity and insight into Walmart‘s approach to employee drug testing. My goal was to provide details and perspectives that I wished I had when considering pre-employment screening. While policies can vary, knowing what to expect can give you greater confidence in the hiring process.
Safety-critical roles require testing, but many positions do not.
Refusing a test has the same consequences as failing.
You will be notified in advance if screening is required for hire.
Federal laws prohibit tolerance of marijuana, even where legalized.
Post-accident and reasonable suspicion testing aims to ensure workplace safety.
Stay informed, make responsible choices, and avoid letting substance use derail your career opportunities. With preparation and understanding, drug screening does not have to be an obstacle in pursuing employment with Walmart.