Does Whole Foods Drug Test?

Job hunting often requires one to have a plan. You cannot just apply to any positions. You need to target prospects that best match your credentials, interests, and values.

Large companies tend to offer the best chances of career growth and good benefits. With many departments, they tend to offer a wide variety of roles. For those with a liking for recreational drugs, these jobs can be a good score.

One of the biggest retailers in the US is Whole Foods. While a top employer, it does raise the question, does Whole Foods drug test?

Does Whole Foods Drug Test

For whatever reason, drug screening can be a big issue for those seeking jobs. More so with marijuana now legal in many states.

While this change has given people more freedom, it does not alter employer responsibilities. It is risky to have someone on drugs working amongst others. Their impaired judgment could mean harm to fellow employees, customers, and property.

So it is quite common for some level of drug testing to be done as a safety measure. The policies on this do however often vary based on industry, state, and local laws.

Before we dig into what policies Whole Foods may apply, let’s first consider what drug screening entails.

What Is Drug Screening

Drug screening involves testing of biological samples to detect the presence of certain chemical compounds. This helps to ascertain if the person being tested has indulged in drug use.

Tests can be done on hair, blood, sweat, saliva, and urine samples. Urine drug tests are however the most commonly used. As much as 95% of employment drug screenings are done this way.

The authority overseeing workplace drug testing is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Their prescribed five-panel test focuses on specific drugs. These include cocaine, marijuana, opiates, phencyclidine or PCP, and amphetamines.

Different drugs can take different amounts of time to metabolize. Other factors such as a person’s weight, age, diet, and health can also affect this. Depending on the drug, it is advisable to stay clean as long as possible before a test.

Types of Testing

Does Whole Foods Drug Test Type

Employers will undertake different kinds of testing on their workforce. Pre-employment testing is quite common. It allows employers to nip potential problems in the bud early on.

Most job candidates that fail this test are unlikely to be employed. Some states do require employers to advise candidates on drug tests when advertising job vacancies. This is often enough notice for those applying to prepare for this eventuality.

Many people have criminal records that include drug offenses. Since background checks are often part of the hiring process, most employers do discover this.

It can encourage them to require a drug test. To ensure an applicant has turned a new leaf.

Drug testing can also be performed during annual physicals. Certain jobs require this health check to ensure fitness for the job. Drug tests can be part of the procedures.

For cause drug testing is done when an employee exhibits suspicious behavior. Actions such as losing focus, falling asleep on the job, and recklessness may be grounds for this. If interfering with work and documented, this can be used as grounds to compel a drug test.

Post-accident testing is another commonly requested procedure. Especially where there is suspicion that the accident was caused by an employee being on drugs. It can also be needed due to liability concerns.

Employees that have been away from their jobs for extended periods can also be asked to drug test. Mainly if their absence has been due to attending rehab.

Why Work at Whole Foods

Does Whole Foods Drug Test Job

As a large multinational with hundreds of outlets, Whole Foods is a great company to work for. Surveys indicate high employee fulfilment and generous benefits.

From deep discounts on shopping to good healthcare coverage, the company does much to promote team happiness. Flexible hours and paid vacation time are other big benefits.

Its many stores also mean that employees may not need to travel far to their workplaces. Shorter commutes can help with budgeting and lower stress levels.

For those with a strong value system, this company also makes sense. Their approach to organic foods encourages a healthy lifestyle. Their efforts towards environmental protection through such strategies as eliminating plastics are also worthy.

The company is more than just a popular series of grocery stores. It is devoted to helping people make better choices for their wellbeing and that of the planet.

So as much as it is a great place to work, what does this mean for the employees? Does the company drug test? And how?

Does Whole Foods Drug Test?

Unlike many other big retailers like Lowes and Dollar General, Whole Foods does not typically drug test. It seems that pre-employment drug screening is not part of their policy.

Since many states and cities do not have strict measures on this, this does not break the law.

New hires do undergo a strict background check. This includes a review of the county, state, and federal criminal databases. The company does also confirm work history.

Drug testing as a condition of being hired does not seem to be in practice. There are however some signs that safety-sensitive jobs may require it.

Drivers, who fall under the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act may be subject to this. According to this law, safety-sensitive transport workers must undergo drug and alcohol tests. At Whole Foods, this would likely apply to those driving trucks and any other transportation vehicles.

There are rules for such testing. These include the confirmation of positive screening results and required use of accredited labs. The implementation of this Act is overseen by the Department of Transportation.

Drug testing may also be a must in the event of workplace accidents. Likewise, it can be requested where an employee shows suspicious and harmful behavior changes.


Statistics show that 10-20% of work related fatalities test positive for drugs and/or alcohol. And, as much as 40% of work related deaths are due to employees that test positive for drugs.

Clearly, there is a high risk linked with having drug users on the payroll. Especially in safety-sensitive roles where they can likely pose a severe threat to others.

Drug screening is a good way to limit this risk and safeguard employees, customers, and property. Employers like Whole Foods understand this reasoning and do make some use of this testing.

For job applicants looking to join this company, it is reasonable to consider giving up the habit. This can help enhance the chances of getting hired and remaining employed.

If you however find it difficult to kick substance abuse, you may want to consider alternatives. Even those that have criminal records can find more independent and lucrative jobs in other companies and professions.

Do consider where your talents lie to make a choice that you can comfortably live with. Research and focus your efforts on gaining the requisite training and experience in a desirable field.

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