Retail chain Family Dollar has a long history and a nationwide reputation. Since launching in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1959, it's expanded rapidly, to the point that it now boasts over 8000 locations across 46 states and around 60000 employees. Offering a wide variety of jobs across a broad spectrum of fields, it's undoubtedly a popular place to work. But as with any business, it looks for certain things in its employees, things that don't always relate to educational achievements or work history. If you intend on applying for a job with Family Dollar (or for that matter, with any company), it pays to get familiar with their values, their expectations, and their policies... particularly when it comes to drug use and testing. Over recent years, drug testing, whether randomized or pre-employment, has become routine at many businesses. If you don't want to fall foul of testing procedures before you've even signed a contract, it's vital to understand what to expect. So, does Family Dollar drug test its employees? And if it does, exactly when, why, and how often will you be expected to submit to a test? Here's everything you need to know about Family Dollar's drug testing policy.
Does Family Dollar Drug Test Its Employees?
According to its Code of Business Conduct, Family Dollar aims to provide safe, drug-free, and healthful working conditions for all its Associates. That doesn't mean it's going to foot the bill if you suddenly decide to check yourself into Narcotics Annonymous, but it does mean that they exercise the right to impose drug tests on their employees, both pre-employment, randomly, under reasonable grounds of suspicion, or after a workplace accident. All employees are subject to the same policy, but those who work in certain fields (e.g. where the use of machinery may make safety an additional concern, or in managerial positions that involve access to confidential data) may find themselves subject to more frequent testing than some of their colleagues.
Does Family Dollar Conduct Pre-Employment Drug Tests?
Family Dollar reserves the right to conduct a pre-employment drug test on every new applicant. That doesnt mean they actually test each and every new applicant that walks through their door, but it does mean you shouldn't be at all surprised if they ask you to provide a sample before they make a formal job offer. If you're applying for a job that is safety-sensitive, whether that's using machinery, handling money, or accessing confidential data, there's a greater chance that you'll be screened as part of the hiring process. According to some anecdotal reports, testing requirements tend to vary between locations, with certain stores and branches operating a strict, no-exceptions made policy, and others applying a slightly laxer interpretation of the rules. However, as there's no way you can guarantee that you won't be tested, it's best to assume you will and prepare accordingly, even if you know people who work at the location who weren't tested during their application.
What Kinds of Drugs Does Family Dollar Test For?
Regardless of whether you're being tested as part of a pre-employment check or in a random check, Family Dollar will test for the same five substances- namely, cocaine, phencyclidine (PCP), opiates, THC, and methamphetamine. Typically, the company will conduct a 5-panel urine drug test, an affordable but highly reliable means of detecting the most commonly abused substances. If you are asked to submit a test, you will usually be required to submit a urine sample within 48 hours of the request being made. You will be informed at the time whether the sample should be submitted at the store or a testing location (typically, managers will be asked to test at a third-party location while other employees are tested on-site). Both you and Family Dollar will receive the results within a few days to a couple of weeks after submission. All results are treated confidentially, and will not be discussed with other employees.
What Happen If a Drug Test Comes Back Positive?
As per its Code of Business Conduct, Family Dollar aims to promote a safe, drug-free environment for all its associates. As with all employers, the company has a duty of care to protect the health and safety of its staff. This includes ensuring that employees are not under the influence of a mind-altering substance while at work. If an employer knowingly allows an employee to continue working with narcotics in their system, they may face prosecution. Although it is down to the judgment of the individual store or depot, an employee or prospective employee who fails a drug test may find their job offer retracted or their contract terminated.
Can I Refuse a Drug Test?
Providing drug tests are conducted fairly, it's perfectly legal for a business to use them. However, while the company may be within its rights to ask you to submit to a drug test, testing is not legally enforceable. If you wish to refuse, you are perfectly entitled to do so. But before you do, you might want to consider the consequences. If the company has a written contractual policy of drug testing in the workplace (as Family Dollar does), and if you have been made aware of the policy and agreed to it, refusing to comply could result in disciplinary action, dismissal, or, in the case of a pre-employment drug test, the rescinding of a job offer. If you have reason to suspect you are being asked to take a drug test on an unfair basis, you may have recourse - however, in most cases, employees who fail to comply rarely come out on top.
Why Do Companies Drug Test Employees?
As smallbusiness.chron.com notes, companies use drug testing for a myriad of reasons. The primary reason is safety, particularly in fields that require employees to engage in manual labor, work with consumers, operate machinery, or drive vehicles. Companies working within certain industries are legally required to test employees both before and during employment, particularly in sectors such as education or health. Public relations also plays a part, particularly in customer-facing companies like Family Dollar, who, for obvious reasons, might wish to preserve a certain image and reputation. Regardless of the reason, drug testing is becoming increasingly common, and in the case of Family Dollar at least, the message is clear - stay clean, or your job may be at risk.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson