Drug Testing in Texas 2021 - Everything you need to know

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No statute in Texas urges public or private companies to drug test their employees. Employment firms or recruiters can drug test their pre-employment candidates or conduct random drug tests or post-accident drug tests as per their company policies. But they should make sure that the drug test does not threaten the privacy or dignity of the individual.

Transportation employees in Texas must undergo certain drug tests as per the Texas state law and federal laws. Transportation employers are subject to the licensing requirements of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). They must comply with those laws and guidelines drawn by the Department of Transportation (DOT).

Before the drug test, the applicant needs to sign the consent form that authorizes the test and releasing the test results to the allocated Medical Review Officer (MRO), the employer, and the TDLR. Refusing to sign the form may lead to the termination or rejection of hire during the interview.

Table of contents:

CPS/Child protective services drug testing laws in Texas

According to Texas law, everyone has a duty to report to the CPS if they come across child abuse. Suppose the CPS believes that the child is living in an unsafe environment that includes parent drug abuse, failure to provide adequate food, medical care, physical abuse, etc. In that case, the CPS caseworker may investigate. If the guardian or parents are suspected of drug abuse, the caseworker might demand a drug test.

CPS or the Child protective service is a section of Texas state agency that comes under the Texas Family and Protective Services. CPS in Texas has a specific time requirement, deadlines, and investigation protocols as per Federal law. As per the Texas Family Code section 262.201, if the CPS removed the child from the guardian or parent, a court hearing must be held within 14 days.

How does the CPS drug test work in Texas?

  1. The CPS caseworker may recommend a drug test if you are suspected of drug abuse.
  2. If you refuse to take a drug test, the caseworker may consult with the supervisor in a meeting. The supervisor may legally intervene if the evidence concerns child safety.
  3. For cases dealt with under the court jurisdiction, the caseworker must notify the refusal of drug tests to the judge and attorneys.
  4. If you are tested negative for drugs, the CPS will return the custody rights to you as per their procedures.
  5. If you are tested positive and refuse to sign the safety plan with the CPS, there may be a high chance of a lawsuit that might terminate your child’s custody rights.

What type of drug tests does CPS use?

Child protective services conduct Urine and saliva drug tests to identify the drug usage of parents or guardians. Sometimes, they may conduct a hair follicle drug test based on the necessity.

CPS prefers conducting urine drug testing in 90% of the cases. This type of testing requires urine samples that are taken and tested in the labs. They carry out frequent testing at regular intervals that could help ascertain whether the parents stay away from taking drugs. You can get yourself ready using trusted urine drug testing kits to face the actual screening with confidence.

Saliva Drug Test offers a quick result for any substance. The tester will collect your saliva using a mouth swab. This specimen helps the tester to detect any illicit drug(s) and alcohol present in the body within the past few days. This drug testing method can be helpful to detect all kinds of illegal drug substances except weed. (Weed can be detected only after 10 hours of its intake.) Check yourself with the T-cube oral saliva drug test kits to ensure drug presence in your saliva.

Best option for CPS hair follicle drug test in Texas

Even though CPS prioritizes urine and saliva tests, they conduct occasional hair drug tests. If you are about to get your hair follicle drug test, you can prepare yourself with the PDT-90 hair drug test kit. Introduced by a leading drug testing company, Psychemedics corporation is the main reason behind this home-based hair drug testing is to help parents concerned about their teens’ drug habits.

Why the PDT-90 over other home kits?

  • 5 to 10 times higher detection
  • Analyzes for 12 drugs (7 illicit drugs and five prescription drugs)
  • Smallest amount of hair required (other labs need 2-3 times the amount of hair)
  • Detection period up to 3 months or 90 days back.
  • FDA cleared screen test for head and body hair
  • Fully accredited laboratory
  • Most accurate/sensitive test available
  • The “Gold Standard” of hair testing

Drug tested for include

  • (THC) 50 ng/ml
  • (COC) 300 ng/ml
  • (METH) 1000 ng/ml
  • (OPI) 2000 ng/ml
  • (AMP) 1000 ng/ml
  • (PCP) 25 ng/ml
  • (MDMA) 500 ng/ml

Newborn drug testing laws in Texas

Drug testing for newborns is not mandatory in Texas. Drug tests for newborns are done under certain circumstances like detecting drug metabolites in the meconium or umbilical cord tissue or any other complications related to it.

Texas had not made drug abuse during pregnancy a crime. But the mother would face severe consequences if such practices lead to the deterioration of the child’s health or infant death. Texas law had clearly stated that any attack on the unborn child at any stage of gestation is similar to the attack on the living person. The controlled substances that may lead to charges during pregnancy in Texas include MMJ, COC, THC, OPI, LSD, Ecstasy, etc.

Tennessee is the only state in the United States to consider drug abuse during pregnancy as a crime. Alabama and South Carolina have considered maternity drug abuse as a serious offense and interpreted them into child endangerment and chemical abuse and endangerment act, respectively.

According to the Newborn drug testing laws in Texas (Health and Safety Code, chapter 33), all newborns should undergo mandatory screening for any genetic disorders or medical conditions recommended by ACHDNC. The newborns are tested for 31 identified core conditions, and drug testing is one among them. But Drug testing is not one among those core screenings.

Do Teachers get drug tested in Texas?

Texas does not have a mandatory drug test law for teachers during the hiring process or employment period. The local schools and the Texas public school have not mandated drug tests of any kind for the teachers in Texas. The school districts in Texas do conduct a background check before hiring the teachers, but they rarely conduct drug tests for them during the hiring process. However, the local schools in Texas require the teachers to sign a contract to be drug-free during their course of employment.

The Texas Education Agency does not require the local school districts or private schools to drug test the teachers. They do not have authority to prevent any schools from conducting a drug test for teachers during their hiring process. In most cases, the schools that drug test teachers would be conducting urine or saliva drug tests. It will be better to keep yourself ready with home drug testing kits to face the interview without confusion.

As per the Texas drug testing policy, the district conducts drug tests only when there is reasonable suspicion or through random drug testing for safety-sensitive positions. That means the employees involved in transportation, like bus drivers, would-be drug tested in schools. If the school receives any complaint about the teacher regarding drug abuse or child abuse due to drug addiction, the teacher may be drug tested.

Top 10 companies and agencies that drug test in Texas

  1. Texas Parks and Wildlife - It is a Texas state agency that protects the wildlife and their habitat. They also manage the state’s parks and other historical areas. They comply with federal and state regulations to ensure public safety and a productive workspace. They do not drug test new hires, but they would be conducting random drug testing for employees.
  2. Texas Roadhouse - Texas roadhouse is a well-known steak restaurant in the whole of America with its substantial presence in Texas. They provide the best steaks and ribs with freshly baked rolls. They do not drug test, but they might drug test you if you are suspected of drug abuse.
  3. FedEx - FedEx is one of the shipping giants that provide global shipping solutions based on your business requirements. There may be a criminal background check, but they hardly drug test employees. If you are opting for the transportation department, you may get drug tested as per DOT guidelines.
  4. Lowe’s - This is a well-established American retail company with its specialization in home improvement.  Lowe’s prioritize mouth swab tests for the pre-employment candidates. They have a strict drug testing policy to conduct random drug tests and post-accident drug tests for their employees.
  5. Target - This is an online and in-store that sells all essential items from groceries to clothing and electronics. They may not conduct drug tests, but they may run a thorough background check while hiring the candidate in Texas.
  6. Chick Fil A - This is one of the famous fast food centers that offer the best chicken sandwiches in the United States. They do not require drug tests in most Texas centers, but in some centers like Lufkin, they execute a drug test. In short, there may be a drug test in some centers in Texas.
  7. Texas DPS - Texas DPS is committed to ensuring public safety and offers a wide range of public safety services. They recruit and train a diverse workforce for the post of Texas state Trooper. The applicant would be going through a series of the recruitment process that involves written tests, physical evaluation, etc. Texas DPS conducts a mandatory urine drug test to detect drug abuse in an applicant.
  8. Dollar General - Dollar General Corporation has a chain of variety stores in America that sells a variety of products including food, snacks, household items, health care products, beauty products, along with their own company’s branded products. They conduct urine drug tests for the new hires and employees in Texas.
  9. Kroger - Kroger is a retail company and the fourth largest America owned supermarket chain in the United States. It has its headquarters in Ohio, US. Kroger centers in Texas conduct a mouth swab drug test for pre-employment candidates. If tested positive, you can reappear after three months. 
  10. Walmart - Walmart is one of the greatest retail giants that have extended its branches in many parts of the United States and other countries. Walmart conducts drug tests for the new hires and runs a background check as per their policy guidelines. At some locations, there might not be a drug test. They may execute random drug tests for the employees if applicable.

Top 10 jobs in Texas that do not drug test

1.Freelancer Jobs in Texas

Freelancers are self-employed, who provide different services to different employers irrespective of the location. Freelancers get short term or long term projects and paid accordingly on the basis of hours or weeks or per month. Freelancing involves various jobs like content writing, fashion designing, translations, copywriting, videography, coding, HR manager, etc.

Apply through: https://www.freelancer.com

2. Writer in Texas

Writing is a wonderful profession that entirely focuses on creativity and word choice. While some writers do it as a profession, some of them start their own blogs with a specialized niche. Many writers in Texas are freelancers, and so they do not have to worry about a drug test. If you are eager to start your writing career in Texas, below is the link to apply:

https://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=freelance+writer&l=Texas+City%2C+TX

3. Web Designer and Developer in Texas

Web designing is one of the sprouting job opportunities in Texas. It is all about creating a website and designing to make it look professional and appealing. Web designers work on frontend and backend coding and designing. If you are a budding or experienced web designer, check here if interested:

https://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=web+deisgner&l=Texas+City%2C+TX

4. Chef in Texas

Cooking stunning dishes could attract customers. The restaurants in Texas are too busy to drug test their chef and employees. It is because of the transient nature of jobs in these careers, there lies no necessity for a drug test. Chefs can apply online to work for reputed hotels in Texas:

https://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=chef&l=Texas+City%2C+TX

5. Photographer

Photography is not a desk job with fixed work hours and hence it requires no drug screening. You can choose your clients. Even if you work for a company as a photographer, very few people get tested. Capture the beauty of Texas without being drug tested.

6. Dog Trainer in Texas

People in Texas just love their dogs equal to a family member. Not many dog lovers or clients in Texas are aware of whether their canine trainer has passed a drug test or not. This occupation is pretty much self-contained, and it does not require a drug test.

7. Personal Fitness Trainer in Texas

Starting your career as a gym trainer is a primarily self-employed occupation. You can either start up your gym, train Texas people to be fit, or provide service as a personal trainer or in a gym. Fitness trainers follow a healthy routine and hence they do not require to get tested for drugs.

You can apply through the below Link:

https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/gym-coach-jobs

8. Real Estate Agent

This job is ripe not only in Texas but also in other parts of the US. You can start your Real estate agency in Texas or an independent Real Estate contractor. Real estate agents are hardly drug tested in Texas. According to some sources, less than 3% of loan processors and insurance agents in Texas get drug tested.

9. Bartender in Texas

A bartender's job is to prepare drinks and shots as the customers require. These people are hardly drug tested in Texas. If you are one who is passionate to be a bartender, you can apply through the below link:

https://www.indeed.com/jobs?q=bartender&l=texas

10. Graphic Designers in Texas

Generally, graphic designing and copywriting are freelance gigs and so they are not drug tested. You can search for graphic designer jobs in LinkedIn or in freelance sites for short term or long term opportunities.

I have come up with the top 10 in the complete list of 25 jobs that do not require a drug test in general.

Texas Employer Drug testing laws

Texas has not passed any laws regulating or restricting the employer to drug test the employees or new hires. While some other states in the United States have passed them, Texas has no statute for a mandatory drug test in public or private companies. If you apply for a federal role, you may face a drug test as the federal law insists on a drug test for new hires.

The state law allows the employer (public and private) to conduct a drug test without deteriorating the individual’s dignity on certain factors like disability discrimination, invasion of privacy, or defamation.

Disability discrimination - As per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ACA), an applicant or employee who has been taking medication for any kind of disability might test positive in a drug test due to the medicines prescribed that may contain some illegal drugs like opiates.

Privacy violation - The supervisor should not threaten the candidate’s privacy during the sample collection, like, insisting on conditions that threaten dignity.

Defamation - Any act of defamation by the supervisor or tester would be inadmissible.

To put the things in one place, the employer in Texas should know about:

To prepare a proper and legal drug testing policy for their organization.

What happens if you fail a drug test in Texas?

  • If you fail your pre-employment drug test, you could hardly get the job as the employer would not consider you fit for the job. They may differ based on the company policies and the drug test results.
  • If you are an employee and you failed your surprise or random drug test, you may lose your job. Employers have specific policies regarding post-failed drug test employees. You may be subjected to a confirmatory test, possibly a hair drug test, based on the circumstances.

What happens if you fail a drug test on probation in Texas?

If you fail a drug test on probation, there are chances that you may get increased jail time, additional terms and conditions, higher fines, and conviction.

Everyone on probation would be facing a drug test in Texas. Sometimes, the judge would be ordering a random drug test based on the circumstances.

Whatsoever, the probation officer can test a probationer whenever he deems fit.

If you fail your drug test, MTR (Motion to Revoke Probation) would be filed in your name that would lead to a warrant for your arrest. If the MTR is not filed in your case, the Probation Department may recommend adding additional terms and conditions on your probation.

Pre-employment drug testing laws in Texas

There is no pre-employment drug testing law as per the Texas statute. But the companies can conduct drug tests as per their company policy without compromising the privilege of the applicant. If you apply for safety-sensitive positions like transportation or pharma-related jobs, there would be mandatory urine, saliva, or hair drug test.

Final words

Drug testing laws differ from one state to another. It is no wonder that Texas drug testing laws are unique because they cover only the adequate population who require drug tests rather than counting everyone inside the drug testing framework. It is the duty of every US citizen to keep themselves free from drugs to prevent misleading consequences in life and the career. This will not only help them to groom themselves but also the society that they thrive in.



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