Does Cedars-Sinai Drug Test Employees?

Does Cedars-Sinai Drug Test Employees?


Cedars-Sinai is an esteemed hospital located in Los Angeles, CA, that offers various services, including surgery and cancer treatment options. It is a non-profit facility that employs thousands of people. Cedars-Sinai has a zero-tolerance policy for drugs of any kind. It drug tests all employees, including security guards and the hospital staff. 

Cedars-Sinai healthcare prohibits the use of alcohol, marijuana, and illegal drugs while you are at work. But, you can use certain medications as the drug testing policy comes with few exceptions.  Moreover, in the following article, let's see the Cedars-Sinai drug testing policy.

Table Of Contents:

Cedars-Sinai's Drug Testing Policy

The Cedars-Sinai drug testing policy outlines the rules and procedures related to drug testing at the hospital. According to Cedars-Sinai's drug screening policy, those subject to drug testing include employees who work with dangerous objects and equipment, employees who have access to drugs and medications, and employees who work in hospitals for patients under 16 years old, and more. 

The drug testing policy is clear about the types of drugs prohibited, but there are many other things that Cedars-Sinai employees must know about. The purpose of Cedars-Sinai's drug testing policy is as follows:

        • To avoid the abuse of drugs and alcohol by employees.
        • To ensure the safety of patients.
        • To maintain a safe workplace for all employees by reducing accidents and injuries.
        • To ensure that the hospital's services and reputation are preserved by maintaining quality control standards. 
        • To make sure that employees perform their assigned duties.
        • To follow the federal, state, and local laws.

Cedars-Sinai healthcare uses a third-party company/laboratory to conduct the drug testing so that they maintain complete control over the process and results. The company that performs these tests must be accredited and should be in business for many years. 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) accredits the laboratory that Cedars-Sinai uses for its drug tests. (The SAMHSA accreditation is a federal-level certificate that demonstrates that the drug testing company meets or exceeds all operating standards.)

The MRO (Medical Review Officer) is also a part of these tests to ensure that the results are accurate and reliable. The test results are confidential. If workers share any information about their drug test with anyone, it will lead to their removal from work and further termination of their contract.

Prohibited Behavior As Outlined In The Cedars-Sinai's Drug Testing Policy

There are several types of prohibited behavior listed in Cedars-Sinai's drug testing policy that should be familiar to the employees. The hospital states in its policy that the following are not permitted under its drug testing policy:

        • The consumption of drugs and alcohol during work hours.
        • Conducting an illegal substance sale without the management's consent, providing for a prohibited substance under any circumstances, selling or possessing drugs to sell them, dealing in prescription medications without a prescription, and selling drugs on a part-time basis or outside Cedars-Sinai property.
        • Any drug-related misconduct that might harm the patient or other employee in any way. 
        • Any drug-related behavior might lead to an accident, injury, or other illness.
        • Failing to report to work due to drug or alcohol use.
        • Failing to show up for a drug test as scheduled.

How Are The Employees At Cedars-Sinai Drug Tested?

There are many different options for the hospital to drug test the employees. If the employee must take a drug test, the HR department will let them know about the upcoming drug test. 

The employer will also send an email letting them know when the employee should show up for their test. Also, the employer will let them know what kind of drug test the employee needs to take and when, and where they need to go. 

Cedars-Sinai drug testing policy is stringent, and it states that the employee must take their test on time and at the scheduled location. Failing to show up for the expected test will result in immediate termination. 

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. In case of any emergency or if you are going out of town, you can let the HR department know about your absence beforehand so that they can arrange a different time for your drug test. Furthermore, various times at which an employee is subject to testing are as follows:

  • Pre-employment substance testing: 
  • Before employment, all candidates at the Cedars-Sinai medical center must undergo a pre-employment drug test. The employee who has a conditional offer of employment must take a pre-employment drug test. 

    The job offer is subject to change if the applicant is unable to take a pre-employment drug test. The employee remains under contract until they have taken a drug test and passed it. Also, in case of failure to be drug-free, the employee will lose their employment and resign from Cedars-Sinai without any chance of being rehired. 

    In addition, any prospective employee who fails the drug test will not be eligible for employment consideration for twelve months. The pre-employment drug test is valid for thirty days before the commencement of employment. The employer will test the individual for various illegal drugs under federal and state or local laws at the pre-employment test. 

  • Reasonable Suspicion substance testing: 
  • In case of reasonable suspicion, Cedars-Sinai will conduct drug screening on the employer or employee and rely on the results as the basis for further testing. The employee or employer will state the reason for reasonable suspicion before the test starts. 

    Also, any senior manager, supervisor, or physician individual will be subject to more extensive testing than any other employee in case of reasonable suspicion. Moreover, reasonable suspicion may be based on the following circumstances:

          • The odour of marijuana or alcohol on the employee's breath.
          • The inability of the employee to perform their duties properly due to substance use.
          • Abnormal behavior of the employee who provides contradictory statements or exhibits unusual behavior.
          • A tip-off from a concerned party about the person under suspicion of drug use.
          • Arrest or conviction of the employee for any drug-related offence.
          • The physical effects of drug use include dilated pupils or nystagmus (involuntary eye movement).
  • Post-accident substance testing: 
  • The post-accident drug testing must comply with federal and state laws when the accident is related to substance use. The employer conducts this kind of drug test on the employee who has been involved in an accident which resulted in an injury that required medical treatment, death, or damage of any kind. 

    After being involved in the accident, the employee must report to a medical facility or call for emergency medical services and notify their supervisor immediately. Moreover, post-accident drug testing is essential in the following circumstances:

          • When a worker is involved in a fatal accident that results in death or severe injury, there is reasonable suspicion that the substance use led to the accident. 
          • If the employee is involved in an accident that results in property damage.
          • If the employee is involved in a crash that involves a commercial motor vehicle.

    Procedure For Reasonable Suspicion And Post-Accident Drug Testing

    The procedure for reasonable suspicion and post-accident drug testing is as follows:

      1. The manager/supervisor must notify the Human Resources department if reasonable suspicion or post-accident drug testing has been deemed necessary.
      2. The HR department will then contact the employee's physician and request that they examine the employee, including a medical and psychological assessment to establish if reasonable suspicion exists or if post-accident drug testing is appropriate.
      3. Suppose the results of this evaluation show that reasonable suspicion exists or post-accident drug testing is warranted. In that case, the physician will notify Human Resources and make arrangements to test the employee within a good time.
      4. However, the employee will be asked to sign a consent form before the test. If the employee refuses to consent, they will be subject to discharge.
      5. The test may be either urine or blood testing and will take place within four hours after the employee has received notice of the test from the Human Resources department. The employer must conduct the test in a private setting and at a time agreed by both parties, but not more than three days after receiving notice of the test.
      6. The employer will conduct post-accident drug testing after the employee has been released from the hospital and has returned to work. In this case, also the test will be urine or blood testing, in a private setting, at a time agreed by both parties but not more than three days after being released from the hospital.
      7. As per the policy, all the records of post-accident drug testing are confidential and cannot be released to anyone.
      8. A union representative or a medical review officer must accompany the employee for the test.
      9. In case of refusal to submit to the test, the employee will lose their employment and will not be eligible for re-employment with Cedars-Sinai for twelve months after the denial.
      10. Lastly, in case of a positive test result, the employee will be subject to discharge.

      What Are The Cedars-Sinai's Drug Testing Policy Medical Exemptions?

            • The employee is taking a prescribed drug approved by the Human Resources department and their physician.
            • The employee has a medical condition that requires using a drug which may cause the false appearance of using a prohibited substance.
            • The employee is in recovery from drug or alcohol abuse, and the use of drugs or alcohol would be detrimental to their health and well-being under treatment at Cedars-Sinai.
            • The employee is pregnant, nursing, or has a diagnosis of having a pregnancy-related medical condition or being incapable of performing the vital functions of their job due to current or past drug use.

      All employees must inform their supervisor if they take any of these medications. Upon request, the employee must also show a prescription to supervisors and Human Resources personnel.


      In conclusion, the drug testing policy at Cedars-Sinai medical center complies with state and federal laws and regulations. The test procedures also comply with human resources policies and will not override employees' privacy under any circumstances. 

      Furthermore, the confidentiality of employees is also protected in this policy. In case of a positive test result, the employee will be subject to discharge as per the policy. 

      Yet, employees need to go through training on this policy and be familiar with their rights and responsibilities. Thus, Cedars-Sinai has an evident drug screening policy designed to protect the company's interests and its employees.


      What If I Am Prescribed A Drug Which May Be Detectable In A Drug Test?

      In this case, they are very few exceptions, and some of them are as follows:

          • If you take a prescription medication, you should inform your supervisor of the medication and provide the manufacturer's name.
          • All prescription and over-the-counter medications will be subjected to a drug test before employment starts.
          • Suppose the employee's prescription drug indicates that it may affect their outcome to perform the position's essential functions. In that case, the employee's physician must conduct a medical evaluation.
          • The employee's physician will then submit the evaluation results to Human Resources, deciding whether to conduct a drug test.
          • If the medication prescribed is believed to have "no potential" to cause interference with the safe performance of essential functions, or if it has been determined that the employee can perform the essential functions of their position, there is no need to administer an extra medical evaluation and thus no need for an employee take a drug test.

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