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Is Amazon The Place To Work If you Like to Get High?


Amazon is huge. It is unbelievably huge. It is the second largest employer in America with over 550,000 employees in the USA, and several hundred thousand more throughout the world.

It is an incredibly diverse company who’s specialization may have started with selling books online and shipping them around the world, but they now sell and ship a huge range of products around the world, as well providing a range of hosting and technology services, and has moved well beyond its position as the leader as an eCommerce trend setter.

So, as a trend setting, global leading company does Amazon drug test for weed these days? It may seem ironic that that one of the biggest suppliers of products that are supposed to help people pass a drug test is actually of the most prolific drug testers of employees.

When Does Amazon Do Drug Testing?

Although, like many companies, Amazon will usually insist on potential employees passing a drug test as part of their pre-employment processing, Amazon is also reputed to have one of the most vigorous drug testing schemes known for any company. Random and regular drug testing are part of the standard employee contract for all employees that are working in American Amazon offices and processing centers.

Amazon is known to regularly run a drug screening that includes testing for speed, meth, weed, cocaine, opioids and downers. In fact that regularly make it to a range of lists for being the least friendly if you are a pot smoker. https://medium.com/@MedicalMarijuana/the-top-marijuana-un-friendly-companies-in-the-us-555e141104be Unfortunately, even if it is completely legal to smoke cannabis recreationally in your state, the law is still being challenged by employers, and at this stage if you have signed an employment contract that stipulates you aren’t allowed to smoke pot (or take any other drugs), then this is what you are going to be legally held to.

What Sort of Drug Testing Does Amazon Do?

Although pre-employment drug testing may involve a urine test, for the most part Amazon favors using the saliva swab test for random drug screening. The advantage for this method, from Amazon’s view, is that it can give results immediately, and is able to detect if an employee is currently under the influence of a range of substances.

Amazon generally has a medical review officer who is able to take the saliva swabs, although there are also rumors that during their major temporary hiring periods (like for the Christmas season rush), people are asked to do their own swab & swipe. Whether that is true for every year, and in every location, is unknown. You should probably always assume that you will be given drug tests by qualified personal.

The downside to Amazon using a saliva test for drug detection is that these are surprisingly expensive. This is one of the reasons why most employers prefer to use urine drug testing. However, it seems that the speed of results, and the ability for amazon to have random drug testing at a moments notice, in any situation, seems to make up for any concern they might have over cost.

A saliva drug test can generally detect if you have used anything within the last few hours, right up to about 3 days prior. Monday morning is not a good time to be tested if you have had a good weekend.

Why Doesn’t Amazon Use Blood Tests?

Well, it is just a guess, but a good guess would be a combination of time and cost. Although blood tests are the most invasive of all drug testing options, it does not seem like Amazon would worry to much about their employees being concerned by an invasive testing process. However, it does seem like that would be less than impressed at a delay in results. It also takes specialist equipment and people to perform the testing, which means that the turn around time can be several days.

While it may be completely legal, at least in America, to enforce pre-employment drug screening on potential employees, different states have different rules around random drug testing once you are employed. While most people will likely not worry too much about a mouth swap to test for drugs, having to tolerate having vials of blood removed on a regular basis to prove that you aren’t under the influence of anything is going to wear thing very quickly. This would rapidly bring Amazon up in front of a range of court cases particularly around invasion of privacy.

Are Random Drug Test Legal Then?

For most states the answer is, sort of. Although most states don’t have specific legislation that allows random employee drug testing, nor does any state specifically forbid drug testing for a specific drug or using a particular method. So, generally as long as an employer is able to come up with a legitimate reason for insisting on a random drug test they should be able to get away with it. Legitimate reasons my include being concerned for the health and safety of the public or other staff members, for example someone who is operating heavy machinery or driving vehicles, or anyone who carries a gun as part of their position. There may also be reasonable cause to demand a random drug test from an employee who seems dazed or who has slurred speech, while it may be that they are having a medical episode, being able to have access to immediate results through a mouth swap to eliminate the possibly of alcohol or drug related reasons allows medical attention to be quickly sort for the suffering employee.

Employees should be able to except a certain degree of privacy from their employers, so although drug testing may not be against employment law, harassment by repeated drug tests at an unreasonable time frame may be grounds for a lawsuit, and if you are dismissed for failing a drug test you should have the right to see the results.