Jobs in the service industry typically don’t require that a prospective employee take a drug test. Many jobs in retail stores, cleaning companies, gas stations, hardware stores, restaurants and discount stores don’t require employee drug testing.
Jobs that fall outside of government agencies, private education, law enforcement, medical facilities and equipment operation generally don’t require employee drug testing. However, federal jobs and those that involve public safety, such as driving vehicles or piloting airplanes and boats, usually do require employee drug testing. Most employers across the United States are not required to use drug tests, but have the right to use them.
Because drug testing is intrusive, some state and federal laws limit how, when and whether employee drug testing can be done. A current employee usually has more rights in regards to drug testing than a job applicant, because the employee is at risk of losing his job if his drug test is positive. In contrast, a job applicant only loses his opportunity for the job.
An employer cannot force a potential employee to take a drug test, although it can be a condition in order to get a particular job. Employee drug testing can be used to show past drug use, including legal drugs that were used on personal time.