Last updated: September 21, 2020
USA Mobile Drug Testing is ready to roll!
We’ll show up where you need us to handle your Missouri drug testing, whether it’s at the office, factory, or on the job site anytime, 27/7/365! If you’d rather have the employees test at one of our drug testing facilities, we have you covered there, too.
- Pre-employment testing
- Random testing
- Reasonable suspicion testing
- Post-accident testing
- Return to duty testing
- Probation testing
- DOT testing
Ready to schedule a drug test in Missouri? Call us at 800-851-2021 today!
If you don’t see your city listed below, call us at 800-851-2021 and we’ll get you set up at a drug testing location nearest you. Or, better yet, we can send a mobile collection specialist to your location.
No matter where you’re located in the Show-Me State, we’ll be there.
Missouri drug testing locations
- Blue Springs
- Cape Girardeau
- Creve Coeur
- Jefferson City
- Kansas City
- Lee’s Summit
- Maryland Heights
- Poplar Bluff
- St. Charles
- St. Joseph
- St. Louis
- St. Peters
- University City
- Webster Groves
- 1628 E 63rd St
- Kansas City, MO 64110
- 40 N Kingshighway Blvd
- St. Louis, MO 63108
- 3302 S National Ave Ste B
- Springfield, MO 65804
- 2475 Broadway Bluffs Dr. Ste 12
- Columbia, MO 65201
- 19550 East 39th St S Ste 330
- Independence, MO 64057
- 1201 Wentzville Pkwy Ste 117
- Wentzville, MO 63385
Missouri drug testing laws
Missouri drug possession laws are among the toughest in the country. The state even drug tests newborns. The mother’s not arrested if the child’s tests are positive, but the baby may be taken from the mother. DFS (Division of Family Services) definitely gets involved to ensure the child’s well-being from that point forward.
In 2011, Missouri voted to drug test a welfare applicant or current recipient who exhibits reasonable suspicion of illegal drug use. If the test is positive, the applicant or recipient may not receive state assistance for a period of three years. However, if they undergo a treatment program and remain drug-free throughout, the three-year penalty is waived. TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) was added in 2019, those who test positive can’t receive the benefits for two years unless they enroll and successfully complete a treatment program.
Missouri drug-free workplace
Has your Missouri employer or prospective employer asked you to take a drug test?
Although the federal government requires testing by employers in safety-sensitive industries (including transportation, aviation, and contractors with NASA and the Department of Defense), federal law doesn’t otherwise require—or prohibit drug tests. For the most part, state and local laws determine whether an employer may test employees and applicants for drugs.
No Missouri drug testing laws
Missouri laws, HB 2238 and SB 491, doesn’t specifically address drug testing in private employment. Employees will still be expected to adhere to company drug-free workplace policies in the interest of preserving employee safety, performance and productivity in the workplace.
This means that employers can drug test unless it violates other legal provisions.
Legal claims for drug testing
Because Missouri law doesn’t put any limits on workplace drug testing, employees who believe their test was illegal will have to rely on other legal theories. For example, an employer may run into legal trouble based on who is tested or how the test is conducted.
Here are some examples:
Disability discrimination: medication for a disability by an applicant or an employer is protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Legitimately prescribed for certain conditions, otherwise being illegal (opiates, e.g.), some medications give positive results on drug tests and such tests can be put on doubt and considered illegal.
Other types of discrimination: an employer belonging to certain groups by race, age, or gender can issue a discrimination claim for drug testing.
Invasion of privacy: Having a legitimate reason to test the individual, an employer might violate an employee’s privacy in the way the procedure was conducted. If the first requires employees to undress or provide a sample of urine in the presence of others, the situation can be viewed as a privacy violation.
Defamation: In a case when the employer publicizes a false positive result, any employee might have a valid claim for defamation.
Some people (especially sportsmen) claim there is a real issue with the lack of transparency in Missouri’s drug testing. There, apparently, isn’t any notice before testing and the haphazard process in selecting whom to test and at what events raises concern.
Medical marijuana doesn’t provide an excuse
Even though Missouri has legalized medical marijuana, it’s not going to be okay for employees to be under the influence at work. Since there’s no available test for current impairment, employers have in no way been restricted regarding marijuana testing. In fact, Missouri law specifically prohibits employees from bringing suit against Missouri businesses for discrimination or wrongful discharge due to marijuana use.
Medical marijuana dispensaries are preparing to open statewide. Patients will soon be able to enter their doors. Employers are encouraged to continue to enforce current drug testing policies and, also, to train managers and foremen to recognize signs of marijuana impairment. Documenting reasonable suspicions such as red eyes, lethargic demeanor, confusion, lack of coordination, or inability to focus should be something all leadership personnel is comfortable with.
Recreational marijuana law
Senate Bill 491 was enacted way back in May 2014 but was never signed by Gov. Jay Nixon. He chose instead to allow it to become effective without his signature. The bill finally took effect on January 1, 2017. This law decriminalizes first offense possession of marijuana of up to 10 grams by replacing what used to be up to a year of jail time with a fine of up to $500.
Possession of over 35 grams remains a felony with a prison sentence of up to 1 year AND a fine of $5000. Also, this new law also reduces possible sentences for the cultivation and sale of marijuana.
There are limitations within the law that protect against jail time applying only to individuals without prior marijuana convictions.
Of course, Missouri follows the federal government’s demand to test in safety-sensitive industries (transportation, aviation, contractors with NASA or the Department of Defense). At the same time, employers of the general workforce choose whether or not to implement a drug-free workplace policy. Employers are free to invoke policies and establish return-to-duty, pre-employment, post-accident, random or reasonable suspicion testing.
Prospective employees in Missouri’s general workforce may be required to take a drug test and federal laws don’t prohibit it.
Drug testing methods
Some states regulate which drug tests an employer may use in their drug-free program. Missouri doesn’t stipulate, therefore, employers are free to use any manner of employee drug testing.
Urine drug tests
Until fairly recently, the urine test was the only drug test available on the market. It’s mandated for use by the DOT and is used by the majority of general workforce employers as well. Though they can’t give an exact picture of “real-time” impairment, the urine test is cost-effective, extremely accurate, and thanks to advances in technology, it’s become more capable of detecting attempts to falsify the test.
For example, sometimes drug users add adulterants to mask the THC found in the system. Moreover, synthetic urine is the newest “sure thing” to hit the market. Apparently, manufacturers have come up with a pretty accurate substitute. However, advances in testing and the trained eye of lab technicians are a force to reckon with. Most drug abusers find that out the hard way when their attempt to get over on their employers is abruptly shut down.
Test samples undergo an immunoassay (IA) test first. All positive results are sent on for a second test called the gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) test. This test both confirms the positive result and identifies the drug levels contained in the employee’s system.
The length of time that drug detection is possible is drug-specific and normally varies from around twenty-four hours up to a few weeks. However, heavy marijuana users can test positive for the drug for over thirty days.
Employers receive the results of drug tests within a few days.
Hair follicle drug tests
Hair testing is extremely accurate and shows any drug use for a ninety-day period. Even though it’s more expensive than the urine test, more and more employers are deciding the extended detection period outweighs the expense factor.
This test uses radioimmunoassay technology, the ELISA test determines if the sample is positive or negative. Positive results undergo mass spectrometry testing for confirmation and drug history determination. It’s impossible to falsify the results of the test using products or home remedies claiming to mask or remove “toxins” in the hair.
Drug metabolites store themselves throughout the body until excreted. Some wind up in the hair follicles. As hair grows out, the drug metabolites grow out too actually becoming part of the hair. Human hair grows approximately 1/2 inch each month. The standard test length requires 1 1/2 inches of hair, thus the ninety-day detection period. However, labs are sometimes requested to extend the detection period by using a longer hair sample. They have no reason not to accommodate the special request.
If the required test amount can’t be obtained from the head, body hair is used as a substitute. In the case of pre-employment testing, the inability to get a sample of hair could prevent an employer from hiring the prospective employee.
The results take a bit longer to return, but employers have them in hand in about a week.
Mouth swab drug test
Oral fluid drug tests, also commonly called the mouth swab test, are easy to administer. Advances in technology make them a popular choice for those hoping to detect recent, or even current, impairment. They detect drug use within minutes of using up to seventy-two hours prior to the test. Detection periods are drug-specific.
The test subject is never out of sight, so there is no way to switch the sample. Moreover, the body is constantly producing saliva, so claims to mask or “detoxify” the system and beat the test are false.
The results are accurate and the test is cost-effective. Employers often choose these tests for on-site random and post-accident situations. Police agencies, too, are using them more often if suspecting impairment during a routine traffic stop.
Results return in a couple of days.
Which drugs do tests identify?
SAMHSA recommends checking for the following illegal drugs:
- amphetamines (speed, meth, Ecstasy)
- opiates (opium, heroin, morphine, codeine)
- THC (marijuana, hash)
- cocaine (powder, crack)
- phencyclidine (PCP)
Sometimes the tests include alcohol, however, employers of the general workforce are free to choose which drugs to add to their test panel. In standard 5 panel screening, urine testing doesn’t detect alcohol, inhalants, steroids, synthetic amphetamines, hallucinogens, bath salts, synthetic opioids, and synthetic cannabis products.
However, USA Mobile Drug Testing offers a variety of test panels, such as the 9 panel, 10 panel, and 12 panel drug tests. We include certain drugs on all of these test panels, however, we don’t limit employers. They are free to replace any drug panel with another, add other drugs to increase the number of drugs tested for, and even create an entirely unique test panel. Furthermore, specialty testing for bath salts, steroids, synthetic opioids or synthetic marijuana is also available.
Specific drug detection periods
Amphetamines usually show up on urine tests for two or three days, but habitual users may test positive for four. Saliva tests respond with a positive result between twenty-four and forty-eight hours.
Cocaine needs a few days longer, whereas heroin metabolites disappear within a day. Marijuana detection ranges up to weeks after last used. Benzodiazepines can show a positive test up to 3 weeks after they were last taken.
There are extenuating factors as to why a specific drug remains in one person’s system longer than another.
- Age—Younger people tend to metabolize things at a faster rate than older adults.
- BMI (Body Mass Index)—Someone that is heavier and has more fat cells tends to retain drugs in their system longer than someone who is lean.
- Genetics—Our DNA make-up determines everything about us; the rate at which our body completes the metabolization process included.
DOT has new regs coming
There are big changes in store for the DOT (Department of Transportation) in January 2020!
Effective January 1, 2020, there is going to be an addition to the accepted drug testing methods. The oral fluids test has officially been named as a qualifying DOT drug test. And, let’s not forget that the request to use the hair follicle test is passing through the chain-of-command.
Even though the methods are changing, the drug panel is not. The DOT officially added an extended opioid panel to its standard 5 panel drug test in January 2018. The panel includes marijuana which will stay on the DOT test panel unless the STATES Act passes removing the Schedule 1 classification.
In addition, on January 6, 2020, the FMCSA Clearinghouse officially opens for business. Before hiring new drivers, employers must submit a query to the Clearinghouse to search for drug or alcohol violations. Any unresolved violations will prohibit the employer from hiring the driver.
Also, until January 6, 2023, employers will continue to contact the previous employers listed on the applicant’s work history. After that time, employers only need to query the database because the Clearinghouse should contain sufficient “real-time” information on a nationwide basis.
Employers need to register before January 6th to remain in compliance.
The DOT enforces the safe travel of everyone, whether it be by land, sea, or air. The FMCSA Clearinghouse takes a big stand against those that neglect to report drug and alcohol violations. That is often a sign of habitual abuse and risking the lives of others because you think you can handle your addiction is unacceptable.
FAQs—Employee questions and concerns
I sustained an injury in an accident at work. I wasn’t the cause of the accident, but I tested for pot in my system. Workers’ comp cut my benefits by half just because of the weed. I wasn’t even high. Can they do that?
Yes. If a post-accident drug test is positive, the compensation benefit provided is cut by half even if you didn’t cause the accident. If it had been your responsibility, you would receive zero benefits.
Do Missouri school systems drug test employees?
It’s currently up to the school district unless living in St. Louis country. However, a bill has been introduced that, if passed, will require random employee drug testing in all districts.
Does the DOT regulate Missouri school bus drivers?
Only if they transport students to games and other events. A driver transporting students from home to school and back again doesn’t fall under the DOT. However, in case your wondering because of the DOT drug test, the school system may require one if they have drug-free policies in place.
I’m currently in the return-to-duty process and completing my rehabilitation. Will I be able to make sure everything’s cleared off my record come January?
Yes, drivers just need to register with the database. You can access the Clearinghouse at any time, free of charge.
I’m an owner-operator. I can just dump the Clearinghouse compliance tasks off on my C/TPA, right?
Yes. You’ll be able to designate them to access the database on your behalf when you sign up. As a matter of fact, as an owner-operator, you must have your C/TPA handle your Clearinghouse drug testing and reporting.
I have a card and can use CBD legally in Missouri. What happens if I test positive on a random test?
Your employer follows company policy because the marijuana test identifies THC not CBD. The amount of THC contained in your CBD product can put you over the test limit.
The DOT doesn’t regulate my employer. They have no right to random drug test employees, do they?
Yes. They do, actually. Missouri law doesn’t prohibit employee drug testing in any form other than cases pertaining directly to discrimination.
Do oral fluid tests detect current impairment?
Yep. The oral fluid test identifies drug use within minutes of use.
If recreational marijuana ever becomes legal in Missouri, will they have to take it off the drug tests?
Not unless the STATES Act passes removing the Schedule 1 classification from the drug. If that happens, employers will be left at the mercy of the state government. However, concerned employers are already calling out for “carve-outs” much the same as those in regard to alcohol in the workplace.
When a test for current impairment hits the market, the “marijuana in the workplace” issue will be easier to resolve.