The fast-food restaurant chain known as Chick-fil-A is one of the largest operating in the U.S. with 2,360 operating locations among forty-seven states, as well as the District of Columbia, and locations in Canada. With a company as large as Chick-fil-A, it comes into question if they have all of its employees undergo drug tests, whether they be random or routine.
The short answer to that question is no, it does not. However, just because the restaurant chain doesn't always list a pre-employment requirement of drug testing, doesn't mean it's never required. There are some job positions at some locations that will require a drug test to be taken. Although Chick-fil-A is a restaurant chain, no two are exactly alike, as different communities, counties, and states have different laws, rules, and regulations in place that require all businesses to comply. Furthermore, if Chick-fil-A suspects an employee shows signs of intoxication or injury, it does reserve the right to request a drug test from the affected employee.
More About Chick-fil-A
Headquartered out of College Park, Georgia, Chick-fil-A has been in business since May 23, 1946, when founder S. Truett Cathy. It all started when Cathy opened up a restaurant originally known as the Dwarf Grill out of Hapeville, Georgia. Today, Hapeville is a suburb of Atlanta and the restaurant's name is now Dwarf House. However, at the timing of Dwarf Grill when it started up, it was located near the Atlanta assembly plant of Ford Motor Company. Before the plant was shut down and demolished, workers from Ford often frequented Cathy's humble little restaurant at the time.
When 1961 came around, Cathy found a pressure-fryer that was able to cook his chicken sandwiches as quickly as he could fry up a fast-food hamburger. Upon this discovery, he registered Chick-fil-A, Inc. as a corporate name. The trademarked slogan "We Didn't Invent the Chicken, Just the Chicken Sandwich" was Cathy's direct reference to the company's flagship item, the deep-fried chicken sandwich. Although the slogan was merely nothing more than that, the press at the time painted a negative image of Cathy's integrity, despite the fact the devout Christian had repeatedly proven himself to be anything but dishonest.
From 1964 until 1967, Cathy's special chicken sandwich was licensed to over fifty different eateries, including the Waffle House and concession stands belonging to the Houston Astrodome. However, Cathy withdrew the chicken sandwich from all these restaurants and installed the first Chick-fil-A location in Greenbriar Mall's food court, which is located in the Atlanta suburb. From 1967 onward, Chick-fil-A started off as a single standalone restaurant to the chained franchise we know today.
Despite the growth, the core Christian values of its founder ensured none of the restaurant locations would be open on Sundays in order to adhere to the Sunday Sabbaths followers of Christianity are expected to commit to. Each of the restaurants is also closed on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, and are also expected to honor Lent, which is an annual liturgical event where followers abstain from meat. In place of the chicken sandwich, fish would be served instead. Since 1997, Chick-fil-A has been the title sponsor for the annual college football game known as the Peach Bowl, which is usually held on New Year's Eve. The company also serves as a key sponsor for college athletics, namely in the southeast Atlantic region and its collection of colleges and universities.
About Chick-fil-A Values
For the most part, it is widespread knowledge Chick-fil-A's core values as a company were first established by its founder, Truett Cathy, a devout Christian that laid out policies among each of the restaurants within the chain every employee is expected to follow. In some cases, this has been a controversial position as some social groups find the policies discriminatory, despite the fact that Cathy and his company reserve the right to conduct business however seen fit for as long as they comply with the laws that have been laid out.
This includes the matter of drug testing. According to Felony Friendly Jobs, there were over 34,700 employees working at the Chick-fil-A locations. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Chick-fil-A continues to expand as a company, which means there are new job openings that pop up along the way. Also, due to the pandemic, a number of existing restaurant locations usually are in need of new employees to fill whatever openings come about.
Although Chick-fil-A's employee handbook does bring about its stance about illegal drug use and on-the-job alcohol and drug policies, there is no mention of always requiring a drug test before hiring. Even though the restaurant chain doesn't expect all potential new hires to take a drug test, the company still has the legal right to request one should situations come about that give due cause for it. While the core value of Chick-fil-A is primarily Christian, which respects the religious rights within its faith system, it still runs as a franchise.
This means each owner of a Chick-fil-A location may have a few extra policies in place other location owners may not. Usually, these extra policies may be in place to comply with the laws a particular Chick-fil-A location has no choice but to follow in order to keep the doors open. Some states have mandatory drug testing policies in place for all members of the workforce while some do not. Again, however, since Chick-fil-A is a franchise, it's up to the owner's discretion whether or not a mandatory drug test policy for new hires will be in place.
Since COVID-19 swept through the nation, as well as the rest of the world, there have been a number of changes made in regards to not just drug testing anymore, but COVID screening tests, as well as handling the controversial subject matter of vaccines. For starters, all employees are expected to undergo health screenings before starting each shift. Also, wherever local and state regulations allow, face coverings worn inside the restaurant are optional among fully vaccinated employees. As for outside the restaurant, there is no requirement from any of the employees to wear one. Although there are mandatory health screenings underway, there is still no requirement of drug testing unless a specific situation calls for it.
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Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson