Do Target Distribution Centers Drug Test?

target distribution center
Trailer at a Target distribution center.

Target distribution centers do not drug test their employees except for certain situations that we’ll discuss in this article.

Preemployment drug testing is not common at Target distribution centers (DCs) because drug tests can be quite expensive – sometimes as much as $1000 per person.

Warehouses also have high turnover rates which makes spending money for tests on employees who may leave soon not worth it.

Additionally, with marijuana becoming legalized in many places across America, employers have been having a hard time finding enough employees who don’t use cannabis.

Drug Tests at Target DCs

Target distribution centers require drug screening for certain roles, e.g., asset protection specialists and executive team leads.

Drug tests are done before employment and NOT during orientation.

Target outsources it’s drug testing to a firm called Accurate Background.

If you ever need to take a drug test, you’ll be required to do so on site or at an external location.

Roles That Require Mandatory Drug Screening

Most entry level positions at Target warehouses do not require drug testing as a condition for employment.

However, there are a few roles whose significance requires them to have preemployment drug tests.

Asset Protection (AP) Specialists

AP Specialist is one of the few positions at Target distribution centers which require a pre-employment drug test.

Asset protection and loss prevention is a sensitive role and ensuring that employees in this department are not dependent on drugs is important to the company.

All Salaried Leadership Roles

Salaried employees such as Executive Team Leads (ETLs) do need to be drug tested prior to being hired.

Regular team leads are not drug tested as that position is hourly.

When to Expect a Drug Test

There are certain situations where team members in the DC will get drug tested:

  • If you have been involved in an accident and equipment is damaged, you might get drug tested.
  • If you end up in hospital as a result of being involved in an accident at work, you will be requested to take a drug test.
  • You might be required to get a drug test if you file a report after getting injured.
  • Claiming workers compensation after an injury at work will require a drug test before it is accepted.
  • Obvious signs of being under the influence of drugs, such as slurred speech, can be grounds for getting a drug test.
Forklift operator at a Target warehouse. Any accident that leads to damage of equipment, e.g., reach trucks, can result in a drug test for those involved.

As a warehouse worker, I’ve seen forklift operators get drug tested and subsequently fired after hitting pallet racking, for example.

Types of drug tests at Target DCs

Drug tests at Target can be either mouth swab or urine test.

Urine Analysis/Test

Strip of pH paper resting on specimen, with comparison chart

Some DCs use rapid urine tests as the mode for drug testing.

With a urine test, a strip with tiny colored pads is dipped into a urine sample after which it changes color according to the concentration of the drugs being tested for.

Rapid urine tests are cheap and easy to carry out and that’s why you might find them being done on site.

Saliva Drug Screen/Oral Swab

Mouth swab for drug tests.
Mouth swab for drug tests.

Many DCs are switching to mouth swabs for drug testing.

Compared to urine tests oral drug test has the ability to detect recent drug use. For example, mouth swabs can detect use of marijuana in the last 24 hours.

Oral swabs are are also harder to cheat, unlike urine tests where people try to switch the urine sample with “clean” urine.

Additional Tips and Recommendations

If you think (or know) that you are going to get tested and have used marijuana recently, you can buy a home drug test and find out if you’ll test positive for it.

If you have a medical prescription for any drug you use, it may get you off the hook if you ever test positive for it.

Cranberry juice is a natural detox and can help you pass a marijuana drug test.

Due to the pandemic, some DCs are not drug screening at all for any position.

Do not bring up the subject of marijuana use during your interview if the interviewers don’t bring it up themselves. Doing so might make you look suspicious.

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