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Does McDonald’s Drug Test?

does mcdonald's drug test

McDonald’s is one of best known American fast-food franchises in the world. It is renowned for its burgers and fries. It does however also offer other food items including shakes, breakfast foods, and desserts.

For felons, the fast-food business is a great place to find work. There is a high staff turnover with many work opportunities. And you do not need to have work experience to start.

For those that do partake of illicit drugs, the question is – does McDonald’s drug test?

does mcdonalds drug test

Most jobs at McDonald’s are at franchise restaurants. These tend to be owned and operated by franchise owners. They are typically the ones that decide on whether to drug test or not.

Even with more states legalizing marijuana, it is generally unacceptable in the workforce. Employers do not want to hire those that are on drugs.

Let’s begin by looking at why this is the case.

Why Employers Drug Test?

The key reason employers drug test is because of liability. Taking drugs can impair a person’s judgment and actions. If impaired, it can easily lead to workplace accidents.

The risk of a person suffering an injury can be high. They could also end up injuring colleagues or customers. They may also cause damage to company property.

All these issues could result in a lawsuit against the company. This is because they are often held responsible for employee actions on company time. There are also the costs associated with any damage to company property.

Whether the drug has a stimulating or depressing effect, it can be risky to have the person in the workplace. More so if they are handling dangerous items like hot oil, grills, or machinery.

does the mcdonalds drug test

Note that drug testing is not just for pre-employment checks. If they suspect someone on the job is taking drugs, they may have them drug tested. This can often happen if there is a workplace accident that requires workmen’s compensation.

Random drug screenings may also occur. Your job contract may compel you to submit to this screening if selected. Some promotions may also require the employee to undertake a drug test.

So to summarize, employers will drug test to:

  • Conduct pre-employment checks
  • Verify sobriety during workplace accidents
  • Random screening

So how are drug tests conducted?

How Drug Tests Are Done?

In most companies, drug tests are conducted after a conditional offer of employment. This is after the job applicant has passed their interview. It is the norm for companies that adhere to Fair Chance laws.

They are also done hand in hand with background checks. Potential hires will be expected to sign consent forms to allow for these checks to be done. Failure to do can disqualify a person from the job.

The majority of drug tests are conducted using urine samples. They may also be done using hair, saliva, and blood samples.

The immunoassay test is the most popular option. The results are generated quickly but can also generate some false-positives. In such cases, a secondary chromatography test may be done that is more accurate.

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The collection of urine samples may be supervised or unsupervised. Unsupervised collection means a person can submit the sample without anyone monitoring collection. Supervised is stricter with the person being supervised.

Different drugs can last in a person’s system for varying lengths of time. This can also be affected by the level of use.

For instance, a light marijuana user may have the drug out of their system within a day. A heavy cocaine user may have the drug detectable for up to 2 weeks.

Many factors can affect metabolism including:

  • Weight
  • Dosage
  • Frequency of use
  • Choice of drug

This can make it highly unpredictable to figure out whether a test will turn negative or positive. As long as you are a user, you suffer the risk of being caught.

Before we delve into how you can beat the test, let’s look at the drug testing policies at McDonald’s.

Does McDonald’s Drug Test?

For managerial positions, there is a good chance that the employee will be tested. For lower-level jobs at franchise restaurants, the decision is often left to the owner.

Given the high staff turnover and associated costs of testing, not many restaurants test. Although it is one of the companies that hire felons, they will typically decide on a case-by-case basis. If you seem relatively sober during the interview, chances are you will not be tested.

Since background checks are often conducted, this may also guide the policy. Chances are if you have drug convictions, this may prompt the owner to want you to do a drug test. You need to know what shows up on a background check to predict this outcome.

However, some states are stricter than others. Wisconsin is reported to require pre-employment drug testing for all employees.

Branches in Oregon and Arizona are also said to frequently perform random drug screening. It is difficult to determine which branches do a drug test and when.

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You may need to make a few inquiries. Talk to past and current employees of the branch you intend to apply to. They can tell you what to expect in terms of drug screenings.

As mentioned, in many workplace accident situations, drug testing may be required. more so if workmen’s compensation is being sought. The insurance company will want to know the people involved were sober.

They are advised of where to go to have their drug screening conducted. McDonald’s will set up an appointment for the person. They are typically given a 48-hour window to report to the location for drug testing.

The urine collection may be supervised or unsupervised. Unsupervised collections give a better chance of finding ways to beat the test.

So what do these tests check for?

What Drugs Does McDonald’s Check for?

McDonald’s typically undertakes the standard five-panel drug test.

The five drugs tested for are:



3 Methamphetamines

4 Opiates

5 Cocaine

McDonald’s employees are not supposed to work under the influence of alcohol. This means that in addition to the drugs listed, the urine sample may be used to check on alcohol levels.

So how does one beat these tests?

Passing A Drug Test

A lot of drug tests conducted by McDonald’s are unsupervised. This means people can easily use an older urine sample or get one from a friend that is clean.

Many that take drugs will collect their own clean sample and store it. if opting for this solution, ensure that:

1 The sample is kept refrigerated

2 It is stored in an airtight container

3 Once retrieved, the sample will need to be warmed up using body heat.

Having it in a bag you can strap to your body is your best bet. Do not use a microwave as this destroys the sample.

The use of synthetic urine is another way to go. Alternatively, you can use detox kits to quickly metabolize the drugs in your system.

There is no guarantee with whatever option you use to cover up your drug use. The safest option would be to lay off the drugs once you know drug testing is coming up and hope for the best.

Some may opt to somehow damage the sample so they are called to re-test. This may give sufficient extra time for drugs to leave their system before they have to retake the test.


Drug tests when applying for a job at McDonald’s can be a hit or miss. There is no harm in applying for a job even if you are partaking. Especially if your demeanor does not betray you.

But even if you do perform the test and fail, do not be discouraged. There are plenty of other careers for felons that even drug users can opt for.

Or you can opt to start your own business. As a business owner, you would be the one setting the rules. Consider all available options.

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