Whether you are in the pre-employment phase or currently employed, drug tests are a common aspect of many jobs. Workplace drug testing is mandatory in some states and is utilized millions of times throughout the year. The prioritization of regular testing results in more safety, productivity, and job retention in the office. Because of this, a drug test is a serious matter. In some cases, it could even make or break whether or not you keep your job. 


Many ask, what could happen if you receive an inconclusive drug test? Let’s delve deeper into the details.


Understanding Your Drug Test Results


Typically, employment depends on whether or not you have a negative drug test result. Drug-free workplaces are a focus for many companies. Aside from creating a safer and more productive work environment, it also reduces unnecessary costs for companies. Tests confirm the presence of illegal substances in the body, such as:


  • Marijuana 
  • Opiates
  • Hallucinogens
  • Steroids 


Companies can test in various ways, including blood samples, urine specimens, saliva, or hair. Once you’ve taken your drug test, there are three classifications your test can fall under: positive, negative, or inconclusive. Here’s how to read your drug test results:


  • A positive result means that the test detected an illegal substance. You have the right to ask to retake the test, but it doesn’t mean an employer won’t fire (or hire) you. Positives are not sent to employers immediately because laboratories must confirm the substance through various tests. 
  • A negative test result means that the test caught no substance, or the test detected the substance under the cut-off level.
  • An inconclusive test means that the test didn’t detect any substance. Usually, your employer will have you retake the test if this is the result.


If you take prescription medication, you’ll have to provide evidence. Reach out to your primary care provider to obtain the required documentation. 


If you get your drug test results back and it comes back inconclusive, there are many details to consider. 


Need-to-Knows of an Inconclusive Drug Test


More specifically, an inconclusive drug test indicates that the lab can’t identify whether it’s positive or negative. This may happen because the sample was diluted or the testee consumed an excessive amount of liquid before the test. Or, it could mean the sample was tested and stored improperly. This most commonly occurs with urine samples and is less common in other forms of testing. Because the results are unclear, your employer will generally have you retake the test. 


So, can you be fired for an inconclusive drug test? The short answer is, no. Because the result was unclear, employers can’t decide whether the result is positive or negative. 


If you’re already employed, it’s rare that you could be fired for an inconclusive test. Conversely, if you’re in the job application process, employers may not choose you for the job with an inconclusive test. 


However, if your test consistently comes back inconclusive it could mean that it is being rigged or tampered with somehow. This is grounds for being fired. 


Looking for a Trustworthy Drug Testing Laboratory?


There are many nuances to drug testing results. Understanding them will create a more straightforward process for employees and employers. You’ll want to find a reliable, trustworthy laboratory when looking for workplace drug screening.


Here at Soteria, we can help! Our mission is to help employers create safe, productive work environments. Our team works with professionalism and has years of experience with an assortment of tests, including urine, blood, hair, and saliva. We have the ability to screen for marijuana, alcohol, opioids, and other drugs. 

Contact us today to learn more or get started.

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