Fired After Failing Drug Test

What do you do if your company fires you for failing a drug test? One reader wanted some advice about what to do when the company says you have quit.

I needed some advice. I was fired from job last Thursday for failing a drug test. I went in Friday and my separation notice stated that I quit. I signed it as fast as possible due to not strangling my boss. I just wanted to leave at that point. Should I be worried or upset with what has happened? They would have found a way to fire me eventually regardless. It happens to lots of employees there. I think there trying to buy their way out of unemployment pay.

11566653_sHere’s the whole story.

The boss never had a problem with my work ability. He is just suspicious of me sitting in a car while on break. Well I wasn’t just the only employee to do this. I think he just had it out for me…in one of his moods. I tell him its 6 degrees out and I’m staying out of the cold. I sit in the car every morning before work with no problems. He drives by in a vehicle and sees me and I think nothing of it. I mean I’m right here in front of the shop. He acts like I’m trying to hide something for being in a car.

I tell him I seen you drive by. I’m right here you see me I see you. Then he starts talking about my team not getting enough work done. So then I call him out saying that’s not on me. I do more than anybody on team. Next thing you know I’m being called in office.

He has contacted HR and GM and told them who knows what. They ask me what I was doing in a car and this and that. I tell them I sit there every morning. They have cameras and can see that.

Then there seems to be no problem with my work ability also. I’m a helluva worker now obviously. Then he says I need a drug screen for suspicion of being where I was.

Now I do smoke marijuana now and then and I do it in privacy of my home. I can’t do it at work for the fact I wouldn’t be able to function correctly. I tell him I’m going to press lawsuit if I pass the test for it had been a few weeks since.

Then I tell him about what he said at company meeting a few months before that an employee cracked a joke and I guess he forgot where he was and started talking about his “tube steak” private area out loud with male and female workers present. That sure did shut him up in the office. So on the way to be tested my immediate supervisor tells me this should have stayed in-house. The HR and GM should have never been called. I failed the drug screen. I came back to shop and signed separation notice saying quit. Comments said Mr. XX quit. That’s the whole story if it helps. Thanks again.

Your company most likely has a drug screen or drug test policy. Random drug tests are especially popular in companies where heavy equipment is being used for safety reasons.

I realize that getting a break may mean you want to get out of the shop. While you may not have done drugs on site, employees going to their cars on break often do drugs. Staying in your car in the parking lot is probably not the best decision. You would have been better off driving off the property to a shopping center and chilling out than doing it in your car. Do not give your employer a reason to be suspicious even if you are innocent.

I am not surprised that your boss may have wanted to let you go after you “put him in his place”. For some reason, bosses don’t take kindly to someone telling them they are wrong or be reminded of an event where they may have been embarrassed by their behavior.

When you find yourself in these kinds of situations it is always better to say less and not more. Give your boss less ammunition to load the gun that is being directed at you and perhaps you may have dodged the drug test bullet.

To answer your question about signing off the separation notice that said you quit. I think you got lucky. Here’s why.

When you go to another employer, you can say you quit your last job. If you were fired, you would have to say why they fired you and failing a drug test is not something another employer wants to hear.

I realize you won’t be eligible for unemployment and that may pinch your budget; however you will get a job faster and that is more money in the long run. Good luck.