Lowe’s Drug Testing Policy: Everything We Know

Lowe’s Drug Testing Policy: Everything We Know


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Headquartered in Mooresville, North Carolina, Lowe’s is a leading home improvement company in the United States. It has approximately 300,000 employees and operates a fleet of 2,200 stores in the U.S. and Canada. Subsidiaries owned by Lowe’s include Orchard Supply Hardware, Rona, and Maintenance Supply Headquarters. In 2018, Lowe’s bagged the number one spot in Fast Company’s 10 most innovative AR and VR companies in the U.S.

Lowe's conducts drug screening as part of its hiring process. As a condition of employment, employees may also be tested if there is reasonable suspicion for the company to believe that they are under the influence of illicit substances. Federal law also requires testing by employers in safety-sensitive industries such as transportation, aviation, and the Department of Defense.

Who will be tested and why?

Lowe’s may choose to perform a drug test for assessing an employee for reasons that may include pre-employment, random drug testing, follow-up testing, and post-incident testing. Lowe’s typically administers pre-employment screening after a job offer has been made to a candidate. But some Lowe’s sites may choose to administer the test after the second interview.

Lowe’s drug test and substances tested?

An average detection window for workplace drug testing depends on several factors: the nature of the sample used, the method used, duration of use, route of administration, drug metabolite, etc. Drug tests at Lowe’s are performed on-site using an oral mouth swab test. Oral mouth-swab tests are easy to carry out and difficult to tamper with as the oral fluid specimen is collected under supervised observation.

Results of on-site testing are often ready within minutes. Alternatively, drug tests are sent to third-party vendor labs, usually taking about 1-3 days to confirm the results. Positive test results will be analyzed by labs to confirm the detection of substances and may require additional time. Testing may involve a standard 5-panel drug test that screens for the presence of MMJ, opiates, PCP (phencyclidine), cocaine, and amphetamines.

Does Lowe’s drug test for MMJ?

Today, many companies are tweaking their drug screening programs to exclude MMJ from the list of illicit substances tested. Clinical laboratory leader Quest Diagnostics reported a 5.2% drop in MMJ testing and a significant 8.5% drop in recreational cannabis states. Additionally, positive tests have increased by 35% since 2010 and a whopping 71% in states where MMJ remains legal.

Changing laws with 18 U.S. states officially legalizing recreational MMJ has been the major driving factor toward the declining trend for testing MMJ. In June this year, Amazon became the latest company to follow suit in the effort towards legalizing and decriminalizing MMJ to positions not regulated by the DOT (Department of Transportation). The latest Gallup report in which 68% of people voted for the legalization of MMJ is a testimony to this shift in the cultural landscape in America.

Another determining factor for this change of the guard in workplace drug testing is the post-pandemic economic situation. Competitive labor market and hiring shortages have led companies to consider candidates who may have a history of MMJ use during off-work hours. Many companies have gone to the extreme by dropping pre-employment tests altogether to fill the slots due to the hiring squeeze.

The bottom line

A drug-free workplace increases productivity and boosts employee performance. It can reduce the risks and dangers associated with an employee under the influence of drugs. The principal aim of workplace drug testing is to deter illicit drugs and encourage treatment and recovery among working employees.

Lowe’s typically conducts pre-employment drug testing among candidates who have been offered to work. Drug tests at Lowe’s are performed on-site using an oral mouth-swab test. Results for on-site testing generally have a low turnaround time. Drug tests are also sent to third-party vendor labs and take about 1-3 days to confirm the results.

While companies are readjusting their drug screening programs to exclude MMJ from the list of illicit substances, Lowe’s is yet to announce its official stance on the matter. MMJ is listed as a schedule 1 illegal substance under federal law, which includes substances such as 6-MAM, LSD, and ecstasy. As such, employees in safety-sensitive industries regulated by DOT, aviation, the Department of Defense, and others will require mandatory testing.

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