Cleveland Clinic Drug Screening: Do They Drug Test Employees?

Cleveland Clinic Drug Screening: Do They Drug Test Employees?


The Cleveland Clinic is a medical institution providing healthcare facilities with offices in Ohio, Florida, and Tennessee. They conduct background checks on their employees as part of the hiring process. If you are applying for an opening at the Cleveland Clinic, prepare yourself for a pre-employment drug screening.

The Cleveland Clinic drug tests its employees for drug abuse and follows the guidelines of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The Cleveland Clinic believes that its drug screening program is the most effective way to ensure a safe work environment and maintain an ethical workforce. However, some may argue that it violates privacy and creates a hostile work environment.

The blog will help you understand the Cleveland Clinic drug screening process and how you can prepare for your drug test to get a job at the Cleaveland Clinic.

Table Of Contents:

Is The Cleveland Clinic A Drug-Free Workplace?

The Cleveland Clinic is indeed a drug-free workplace. They have a zero tolerance for drug abuse or illegal drug usage. As part of the employment application, potential employees must complete a pre-employment drug and alcohol testing.

The Cleveland Clinic recognizes that it is important to maintain a work environment where employees are free from drugs and alcohol. The company wants to ensure that its employees can make sound decisions and perform their duties safely. 

Moreover, Cleveland Clinic prohibits the following:

  1. Alcohol;
  2. Drugs other than those given by a licensed physician;
  3. The drug use or device on the job, whether legal or illegal;
  4. Drug abuse while driving a company vehicle or while on company time and property (except as authorized by the company); and
  5. Substances make it impossible for an employee to perform job functions safely and effectively (such as marijuana).

However, the Cleveland Clinic drug screening policy does make some exceptions to these prohibitions regarding prescription medications. The Clinic acknowledges that it may be necessary for an employee to use the medication in some cases. 

In those cases, the employee must submit a medical statement confirming that they are fit to perform job duties under the influence of the prescribed drug. Therefore, depending on the job they are applying for, an employee may be allowed to use a prescribed drug.

How Does The Clinic Drug Test Its Employees?

The Cleveland Clinic uses a combination of saliva, urine, and hair tests. There are three different methods commonly used at the Clinic. The first type of screening used by the Clinic is called a urinalysis.

The second method Cleveland Clinic uses for its employees is the hair test. In this case, hair samples are taken, and they are analyzed by a special type of test that looks for drugs in the DNA. 

The third method used by the Clinic is swabbing the inside of the mouth to test for drugs. This test is also conducted to detect drugs in the cells of the stomach. However, the Cleveland Clinic may drug test its employees under controlled conditions. 

The employee needs to submit the drug test sample when requested by Clinic representatives. The Clinic representatives must administer them at a time at a verified place or environment.

How Often Does Clinic Test Its Employees For Drugs?

The Cleveland Clinic conducts four different types of drug tests for its employees and new hires. These types of drug tests are:

Pre-employment screening: 

Cleveland Clinic conducts pre-employment drug test for all new hires. The pre-employment screening is held as early as possible in the hiring process.

All candidates who have cleared the interview process in the Clinic may undergo this screening. The Cleaveland Clinic mostly conducts urine tests for pre-employment candidates. Moreover, a failed drug test may result in an individual losing their ability to work for the Cleveland Clinic. The employee may even get a chance to retest after 90 days of the failed test. 

Random drug testing: 

All Cleveland Clinic caregivers (physician and non-physician) who are in a position to have contact with patients are subject to random drug testing. Random testing occurs at least every six months. It involves using computer technology to select a random sample of employees. This method is specifically designed to ensure that all employees are being tested in a consistently fair manner.

Reasonable suspicion testing

All caregivers working with high-risk patients may be subject to "for Cause" urine and breath testing whenever there is reasonable suspicion that they are under the influence of substances while on duty.

The Cleveland Clinic will notify the caregiver of the reason for being tested; it is then up to the caregiver to decide whether or not to submit a sample. It is important to remember that if a caregiver refuses to go through the drug test, they may be subject to disciplinary action by The Cleveland Clinic.

Return-to-duty testing: 

Cleveland Clinic uses this type of test after a caregiver has completed a formal return-to-duty process, which consists of an evaluation and the completion of a comprehensive outpatient treatment plan or inpatient treatment if required. 

Preferably this testing will occur 90 days after the patient has been discharged from care on the day they are discharged from their inpatient program. The employee will be subject to random testing during this period.

What Are The Cleveland Clinic's Medical Exemptions?

The Cleveland Clinic has a written policy that addresses the use of alcohol, prescription medications, and illegal drugs for employees who must undergo surgery or other medical procedures. 

The medical exemptions are for workers who must take controlled substances medications. The employee will not be considered under the influence of such if, before returning to work, they can pass a drug test without showing up on their report as positive for any such substance.

The Cleveland Clinic also gives medical exemptions for employees who require the use of marijuana for symptoms related to seizures or acute pain. It shows excellent care and concern for its employees, but it is also committed to keeping them safe and protecting their rights. This drug and alcohol testing policy is one way they do this. However, it is important to remember that a failed drug test will not lead to loss of employment, but it can lead to disciplinary action. 

What Are An Employee's Rights If They Fail The Cleveland Clinic Drug Screening?

The Cleveland Clinic recognizes that drug testing prevents substance abuse. This policy promotes a safe work environment for all employees and patients. However, certain legal rights apply to all employees of The Cleveland Clinic. 

Even though employees may fail the Cleveland Clinic drug screening, they are still entitled to certain rights. Some of them are:

  • The employee has a right to know the reason for being tested on a drug test;
  • The employee has a right to challenge the validity of the drug test;
  • The employee has a right to privacy and confidentiality of any medical information that is collected;
  • The employee has the right to have their medical information protected by HIPPA regulations. 
  • The employee has a right to explain why they are not doing well at work, called reasonable accommodation.


The Cleveland Clinic's drug testing policy reflects its culture of care and compassion to promote a drug-free workplace environment. It is a way to ensure that all caregivers are held accountable for the well-being of their patients. The Clinic's drug-testing program is about fairness, safety, and respect for its employees. Every employee at The Cleveland Clinic subject to drug testing enjoys all of their rights under federal and state law. 

This drug testing policy helps reduce mistakes and patient harm, increase work performance, and improve the quality of care provided by caregivers at Cleveland Clinic. The Clinic has an obligation to all its employees to ensure that they are safe and protected while on the job. 

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