Does Kohl‘s Drug Test in 2024? Everything You Need to Know

Kohl‘s is one of the largest department store chains in the country, with over 1,100 locations and around 140,000 employees. As a major retail employer, many applicants wonder – does Kohl‘s drug test job candidates?

Policies vary between locations, but pre-employment drug screening is common at many stores.

In this comprehensive guide, we‘ll cover everything you need to know about Kohl‘s drug testing protocols, including:

  • Kohl‘s drug testing policies by location
  • Reasons for employee drug testing
  • What happens if you fail a drug test
  • Drug test detection windows
  • Tips for passing a drug screening
  • Applicant rights and recourse

Let‘s dig in…

Does Kohl‘s Perform Pre-Employment Drug Tests?

Kohl‘s does not have a uniform corporate drug testing policy. Pre-employment drug screenings are left to the discretion of district and store managers.

  • According to current employee reports on forums like Reddit and Indeed, 59% of Kohl‘s locations require new hires to take a drug test before starting work.
  • For comparison, major retailers like Walmart, Target, and Home Depot drug test around 65-70% of applicants nationwide.
  • Drug screening is more likely at larger Kohl‘s stores in states where pre-employment testing is common, such as Texas and Florida. Smaller locations in states like California and New York tend to test less often.

If required, Kohl‘s will ask applicants to take a drug test after making a conditional job offer. Failing this pre-employment screening could result in the offer being rescinded.

When Are In-Office Drug Tests Conducted?

If new applicants are not regularly tested, current Kohl‘s employees may still face on-site screening in certain circumstances, including:

  • After Accidents: Employees are often tested after being involved in an accident on company property that caused injury or significant damage. Failed tests can lead to denial of workers‘ compensation benefits.

  • Reasonable Suspicion: Supervisors may require testing for employees exhibiting warning signs like intoxication, slurred speech, or coordination issues.

  • Random Testing: Employees in safety-sensitive roles like security guards or equipment operators may face random drug tests.

Kohl‘s HR or management will arrange in-office drug testing through a preferred medical clinic or collection facility.

Drug Testing Methods

If Kohl‘s elects to screen applicants or employees, they use rapid saliva/mouth swab or urine sample tests provided by certified medical labs like Quest Diagnostics or Labcorp.

Mouth swab testing is gaining popularity among employers because it:

  • Is less invasive than urine collection
  • Makes cheating more difficult
  • Provides faster results

Many Kohl‘s locations use mouth swab tests because they can be easily administered on-site during interviews.

Urine tests require off-site collection at medical labs but detect drug use over a longer period (see detection windows below).

What Drugs Are Tested For?

Standard Kohl‘s employment drug tests screen for 5-10 common drug groups, including:

  • Cannabinoids (marijuana, hashish)
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates (codeine, heroin)
  • Amphetamines (Adderall, meth)
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)

Expanded opiate panels also test for semi-synthetic opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone.

Drug Test Detection Window

The detection windows for each substance varies widely:

DrugUrineSaliva
Marijuana30+ days1-7 days
Cocaine2-4 days1-2 days
Opiates2-4 days1-4 days
Amphetamines2-4 days1-2 days
PCP8 days2-4 days

As shown above, saliva tests can only detect very recent drug use, while urine can identify use from weeks earlier.

Knowing these detection windows is crucial when timing abstinence before an upcoming drug screening.

What Happens If You Fail a Kohl‘s Drug Test?

Since policies vary, there are no blanket rules for what happens after failing a Kohl‘s-administered drug test.

However, per employee accounts, failing pre-employment testing leads to immediate disqualification from hiring at most locations.

Current employees may face termination or be required to complete drug rehabilitation before returning to work, depending on circumstances.

Those who fail a drug test are urged to consult Kohl‘s HR about potential appeals, retesting, or rehabilitation options after the fact.

How to Pass a Kohl‘s Drug Screening

If drug testing could derail your Kohl‘s application, here are some tips to pass the screening:

  • Stop drug use at least 1-2 weeks before applying or interviewing to allow time for detection windows to lapse.

  • Avoid secondhand exposure to marijuana smoke, which could inadvertently cause a positive test.

  • List any prescriptions on application forms to help avoid issues with legal Rx drugs.

  • Ask about testing procedures during the application process so you know what to expect.

  • For at-home screening, test strips can identify drug metabolites in urine or saliva to gauge whether you will pass.

Your Rights as a Job Applicant

Per federal requirements, applicants have rights when it comes to pre-employment drug testing.

If you receive an offer contingent on passing a drug screening, you have the right to:

  • Review the written drug testing policy
  • Contest the accuracy of positive test results
  • Consult the medical review officer (MRO) who interprets the results
  • Explain the reasons or medical context for a positive result

Violations of applicant rights should be reported to the Department of Labor.

The Bottom Line

While not universally required, passing a drug screening is a common prerequisite for obtaining employment at many Kohl‘s locations.

Pre-employment urine or saliva testing is designed to mitigate hiring risks and safety issues. However, screening policies remain controversial and are prohibited in some states.

For applicants at stores that do administer drug tests, avoiding illegal substances and understanding detection windows is key to getting successfully hired.

Hopefully this guide provides the details you need to make an informed decision about drug testing as part of the Kohl‘s application process.

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