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Does Costco Drug Test?

Does Costco Drug Test on the first interview? Let’s find out!

As a customer, there’s a lot to love about Costco. Costco employees are pretty sweet on the big box retailer too, and for good reason—compared with other retailers, the pay, benefits, working conditions, and training are hard to beat.

Because Costco is such a great place to work, don’t ruin your chance to get hired because you didn’t prepare for the drug test.

Does Costco Drug Test Employees in 2024?

Does Costco Drug Test Employees

Costco only hires applicants that pass a drug test. Drug testing has become, rightly or wrongly, standard practice among many employers. Companies cite productivity, health and safety, and insurance issues as the reasons they feel entitled to test candidates and employees for drug use.

While you may not be over the moon to find out that Costco carries out pre-employment drug testing, it’s important to understand that working in a Costco Wholesale store can be dangerous. By ensuring that they don’t hire problem drug users, Costco is actually keeping you safe.

Once you’re hired, you can also expect a drug test if you appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and after a workplace accident.

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What Type Of Drug Test Does Costco Use?

You’ll be asked to take a mouth swab drug test during the hiring process. But if the mouth swab is inconclusive, you could be asked to take a urine test.

You’ll also need to take a urine test if your state doesn’t allow oral fluid drug tests to be used for employment purposes, or if you’re applying for a driving job that requires a commercial driver’s license (CDL). But the vast majority of Costco drug tests are mouth swabs.

A mouth swab test uses a swab to collect a sample of your saliva, then the saliva is checked on the spot for the presence of illegal substances.

Mouth swab drug tests are much easier to pass than urine drug tests because the substance detection window with a saliva sample is fairly short.

When companies use saliva-based drug tests, they’re really checking for problem drug use.

Because the substance detection window is so short, people who don’t have a drug dependency problem will have no problem abstaining for a few days so they can pass the test.

If an individual can’t abstain for a few days, then an employer assumes that the person probably has a drug problem, and would not want to hire someone with addiction issues.

Saliva tests also have a reputation for being intelligence tests first and drug tests second. Why is that?

Well, if a person knows that a drug test is a possibility but doesn’t stay away from drugs while they’re applying for a job, then it’s a display of their poor decision-making process and an indicator of a less-than-stellar intellect.

As a recreational drug user, you probably don’t want to work alongside people with drug problems, or with people who make poor decisions. In a fast-moving warehouse store environment, having coworkers like that would compromise your ability to get your work done in a safe and timely manner.

Does Costco Do Random Drug Testing?

Does Costco Do Random Drug Testing?

No, there’s no random drug testing policy at Costco. Once you’ve passed your pre-employment drug screen, you won’t get tested again unless you’re suspected of being under the influence of drugs at work or if you have a workplace accident.

Reasonable Cause Drug Testing

If you’re at work and your manager suspects that you’re under the influence, you’ll be asked to take a drug test. Managers keep an especially close eye on forklift operators, so the slightest suspicion will result in a drug test.

Forklift operators have even been drug tested just because other employees made jokes about them being on drugs.

The usual reasons for a reasonable cause drug test include:

  • Unsteady movements
  • Red or bloodshot eyes
  • Smelling of drugs or alcohol
  • Drowsiness or falling asleep
  • Inability to follow instructions
  • Aggressive or emotional outbursts
  • Paranoia
  • Excessive clumsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Poor judgment

Some companies are known for their managers having a more relaxed attitude toward suspected intoxication. Costco is not one of those companies. You absolutely cannot show up for your shift with drugs in your system and hope to keep your job.

Post Accident Drug Testing

If you have an accident at work that causes injury to yourself or another person, or that damages merchandise or company equipment, you’ll have to take a drug test.

Employees report that incidents that result in damage below $100 don’t usually require a drug test unless the person involved shows signs of intoxication.

If an accident causes injury and you report your injury or require medical attention, then you’ll need to take a drug test.

A positive test result is grounds for dismissal and if you make a claim for workers’ comp, a positive test result could result in your claim being challenged and denied.

Which Drugs Does Costco Test For?

Which Drugs Does Costco Test For?

Costco uses an extended drug screening panel. You’ll be tested for the following substances:

  • Opiates
  • Cocaine
  • Marijuana
  • Amphetamines and methamphetamine
  • Phencyclidine (PCP)
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Barbiturates
  • Methadone
  • Methaqualone (Quaaludes)
  • Propoxyphene

If you use any prescription medications that could show up on the test, you’ll need to show a valid prescription for the drug or drugs you take, or your pill bottle or box with your name and dispensing date on the label.

Can You Use Medical Marijuana At Costco?

Costco has a drug-free workplace policy that prohibits the use of any illegal drugs including medical marijuana.

While many states have made medical marijuana legal, the drug is still illegal at the federal level and the FDA has not recognized any legitimate medical benefits of the drug.

Many employers, Costco included, use the federal classification, and prohibit medical marijuana.

Laws are in a state of flux over medical marijuana though and you should check if your state or city has passed legislation protecting the employment rights of medical marijuana users.

New York for example has legislation in place which prevents employers from testing for marijuana use, however, the law gives employers some wiggle room.

If state or federal laws require testing for a safety-sensitive position, then people can still be tested. And if employers are employing for positions that they deem safety-sensitive, then they can still test for marijuana.

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Does Costco Conduct Drug Test At The Interview?

You’ll usually be asked to take a drug test after your second or third interview, it depends on how many interviews your store is carrying out.

The drug test takes place at the end of the interview. You’ll be given the swab and told to keep it in your mouth for a few minutes. Then the swab is analyzed while you wait.

That’s the only pre-employment drug test you’ll need to take. You won’t have to take another test at your orientation.

Does Costco Drug Test Seasonal Employees?

Yes, they do. Every Costco employee has to pass the drug test there are no exceptions.

Costco hires seasonal workers throughout November, December, and January. This is a really busy period in retail and you’ll be thrown in at the deep end, but it’s a great way to get your foot in the door at Costco.

After your seasonal employment ends, you can apply for a full-time job and because you’ve already been trained by Costco, and hopefully have a good track record with them, you’ll have a very good chance of being hired.

Does Costco Drug Test In the UK?

So far we’ve focused on Costco in the United States, but Costco also has many stores in the UK.

Employment drug testing is rare in the UK, but Costco brought their American company policies with them when they set up operations in the United Kingdom. Because of this, you’ll have to pass a drug test as part of your pre-employment screening.

The screening process is carried out by a third-party provider and comprises a criminal background check, confirmation of your right to work in the UK, and a drug test.

Summing Up

Costco requires all applicants to pass a drug test. You’ll be given the drug test onsite after your second or third interview. The drug test is a mouth swab test that screens a saliva sample for the full range of commonly used illicit drugs.

Costco also uses reasonable cause drug testing and post-accident drug testing, however, there’s no random drug testing, and as long as you don’t give them a reason to carry out a drug test, you won’t have to take another drug test once you’re hired.

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