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Does Subway Drug Test?

does subway drug test

Subway has been a mainstay of the fast-food industry for over 50 years. They are famed for their submarine sandwiches made with fresh ingredients. Their popularity has seen over 24,000 restaurants established across the country.

The fast-food industry tends to have many opportunities. The high staff turnover calls for quick hiring processes.

But what about if you are a drug user? Does Subway drug test?

This is a noteworthy issue given the growing appeal of marijuana. With more states legalizing this drug, many people have taken to enjoying it recreationally.

But just because it is legal does not mean employers are happy with employees partaking. Nor are they willing to take risks by hiring habitual users.

And it is not just marijuana. Even more illicit drugs like cocaine and meth are cause for concern.

Subway can be a great place to work for many reasons. This includes a competitive salary, flexible schedules, and minimal entry requirements. However, for those that take drugs, it is good to know if their habit will be a barrier.

Let’s begin by considering why drug use is a problem for employers.

Why Employers Drug Test?

Drug testing allows employers to determine if potential hires are drug users. When we talk of drug users we are referring to those that use illicit drugs.

Marijuana has been legalized for recreational and medicinal use in many states. But it remains a Schedule I drug under federal law.

Drugs can have different effects. They can be a depressant that slows brain function and causes a calming effect. Examples of this are barbiturates and alcohol.

There are also stimulants that cause activity levels to rise in the body. These include methamphetamines and cocaine. At extremes, they can cause a person to suffer paranoia and hostility.

Another category is hallucinogens. These drugs can cause a person to lose awareness of their surroundings. They hallucinate and begin to sense what is not there. Examples of such drugs include LSD and PCP.

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Opiates can give a euphoric feeling that is highly addictive. All these drugs can easily become addictive.

Marijuana is unique in that it can have a depressant, stimulant, or hallucinatory effect. Different people can experience different reactions to this drug.

However, whatever the reaction, it can impair their judgment and thinking. This is why employers do not want drug users on their staff.

With impaired judgment, they may harm themselves, others, or company property. This can result in liability and reputational issues for the business.

Drug tests are a way to confirm if a potential hire uses drugs. Once this is determined, the company can have grounds to deny them employment. The same will apply to those already employed and subjected to random testing.

So how are drug tests conducted?

How Drug Tests Are Done?

Urine tests are the most common option for drug testing. A person submits a random urine sample that is checked for drug residue.

It can take several days for the drugs to work their way out of a person’s system. Once fully metabolized, they are no longer detectable.

This period can vary depending on several factors. This includes:

  • Type of drug
  • Dosage consumed
  • Weight of the person

Heavy users that have recently indulged in drugs are more likely to be caught out. People being tested are often given short notice to take the test. Employers will often give potential hires 48-hour notice to arrive at the testing site and provide a sample.

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If the sample collection is unsupervised, they are better placed to substitute. This means giving a different sample they know will pass the test. But if the collection is supervised, they may likely have to comply and hope for the best.

It is also possible for drug tests to be conducted using hair, saliva, or blood samples. These are however mostly used for secondary tests if there is doubt about the initial test results.

Most employers use a 5-panel urine drug test. The five drugs tested for include:



3 Cocaine

4 Methamphetamines

5 Opiates

If a person is taking prescribed medication, they should inform the employer. They can then inform the lab to consider this in their results.

Does Subway Drug Test?

Subway policy prohibits employees from working while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  Depending on the situation, the penalty for this can range from rehab to termination of employment.

However, Subway is a franchise business. This means that independent business owners buy a license to run an outlet. But they are given the freedom to make all hiring decisions.

This includes if or when to drug test employees. Employers will test for:

  • Pre-employment screening
  • When granting a promotion
  • Random testing

When there is a workplace accident that calls for compensation, insurers may also request testing.

Some employers may also request the same when they note changed behavior from an employee. Most work contracts require employees to submit to such testing whenever demanded.

When it comes to pre-employment drug screening, entry-level applicants may not be drug tested. As said, the decision is left up to franchise owners. Where there is a high staff turnover, it may not be economically viable.

However, for most managerial positions and higher, there is a strong chance of drug testing being done.

How to Pass the Test?

The best way to pass a drug test is to keep off drugs for a while. The heavier a user you are, the longer it will take to clear out of your system.

You can make use of detox products to help along the way. They may be able to metabolize the drug remnants faster and ensuring you can give a clean sample.

Knowing you are applying for a job here should give you enough time for this. Sadly, this does not work with random screenings. Employers will not give much notice so you may not be able to get clean in time.

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When this happens, the next best option might be to hand someone else’s urine. It has to be someone you trust is clean. Know that this can be tricky and if caught, can lead to termination.

You will need to know how to store the urine for a drug test. This is so it can be submitted at the right temperature.

This is critical where you are submitting under supervised conditions. Strapping a bag with the sample against your body can help keep it warm.

Using synthetic urine is a possible alternative. Many companies claim to have developed versions that can beat such testing. But modern tests are often sophisticated enough to know the difference.

Another solution could be to contaminate the sample. This may give inconclusive results that will force the employer to request you retake the test. This delay can provide enough time for the body to naturally get rid of drug metabolites.

So in summary your options are:

  • Use a stored sample of your own urine
  • Use somebody else’s urine
  • Submit synthetic urine
  • Contaminate the sample


Subway is one of the companies that hire felons and can be a great place to work. They are happy to train up new hires and offer a competitive salary. They also have flexible shifts, which are helpful to those with other obligations.

But, for anyone that partakes drugs like marijuana, their habit can be a stumbling block to getting hired. If you are determined to secure a job here, do lay off the drugs.

However, even if you fail the test here and do not get hired, there are alternatives. Check out this list of best jobs for felons in 2023.

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