Does Costco Drug Test Its Employees?

Costco is one of the largest retailers globally, with a workforce of 288,000 employees in the world and around 192,000 in the United States.

As a successful business, many people seek to join the company. However, they may wonder if Costco drug tests its employees as part of their pre-employment process and work environment.

Below is an exhaustive guide that answers all your Costco drug test questions. Read on;



Does Costco Require A Drug Test?

Yes. According to Costco’s 2022 Drug and Alcohol Workplace Policy, all prospective and current employees need to be free of the presence and adverse effects of illicit substances.

Costco is strictly an anti-drug and alcohol-free workplace and seeks to ensure that its employees abide by these rules to create a safe working environment.

Does Costco Drug Test All Their Employees?

All employees must comply with Costco’s drug-free policy. This means that no matter the position, be it seasonal employees, interns, accountants, stockers, security, and cashiers, full-time, part-time etc. you will need to pass a drug test before working for the company.

Costco’s Hiring Process

The first step is to seek a job opening on their website. Once you find a suitable one, send an online application and await a call from Costco’s representatives. 

You will then do three interviews to see if you are fit for the job. The first one is the main one and longest, while the rest are shorter.

When successful, a post-interview drug test and background check will be done. The background checks take up to two weeks to be completed and entail checking the criminal history, driving records, and education.

Where does the drug testing occur in the hiring process?

Costco’s drug testing is done mainly via mouth swabs, which takes around ten minutes. The company requests potential employees to take the saliva drug test there and there during the interview process. This on-the-spot process ensures less chance of fraudulent activity regarding the drug test.

How Does Costco Do Their Drug Test?

Costco mainly uses mouth swab drug tests as they are fast and effective. Urine tests are rarely used unless there is an issue with the mouth swab test. 

Saliva tests take up to ten minutes, and drugs remain detectable for up to 48 hours after a swab test, hence quite effective. Once the swab test is done, it is taken to the laboratory for testing.

They test for illicit substances such as opioids, marijuana, amphetamines, methadone, phencyclidine, benzodiazepines, cocaine and barbiturates, and MET. Other substances may also be tested according to the law.

When Does Costco Do A Drug Test?

Apart from pre-employment testing, Costco does drug testing in the following situations;

  • Reasonable Suspicion testing.

 If a manager suspects that an employee is under the influence of illicit substances while working on Company premises, or operating machinery, the employee will have to undergo a drug test. 

  • Post-Accident Testing

 This is done when the company believes that the employee caused or contributed to a work-related accident that resulted in a personal injury or damage to company property.

The employee will be removed from performing sensitive functions until the results are out.

  • Return to Duty and Follow-Up Testing

Suppose an employee has signed a Contract for Continued Employment (CCE) and has undergone a substance abuse evaluation. In that case, they will have to undergo a mandatory drug test before they are allowed to return to work.

However, even though you pass this test, you must do follow-up testing for up to two years at times and frequencies determined by Costco.

According to Costco’s drug-free policy, the company can perform random drug tests and inspect its facilities for drugs, such as lockers and personal effects. However, random tests are rare and only done when the company deems them essential.

What States Do Not Allow Drug Testing?

New York, Nevada, and Philadelphia states prohibit drug testing for marijuana except for safety and securities-sensitive jobs.

Nearly 40 states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes and 20 for recreational use.

However, despite the growing recreational and medical legalizations of marijuana, Costco remains strict on its drug-free policy.

How To Pass Your Drug Test With Costco

There is some good news for recreational drug users as they can pass the drug test if they adhere to the below tips.

  • Abstain from marijuana for at least 48 hours before an upcoming saliva drug test.
  • Thoroughly brush your teeth and gums and use Listerine mouthwash.
  • If you have taken marijuana less than 48 hours before the interview, use a mouth detox product.

What If You Failed Your Drug Test With Costco?

Costco will offer disciplinary actions and terminate your employment if you fail a drug test.

Employees who fail a drug test can be rehired only after completing several examinations specified by Costco, which may involve rehabilitation, counseling, the passing of return-to-duty tests, and treatment.

If your blood alcohol content is .02 to .399, the test will not be declared positive, but you will be dismissed for the day.

However, if you fail a drug test due to a doctor’s medication prescription, you will be okay if you inform Costco.


Does Costco tell you if you pass or fail the drug test?

Yes, the Medical Review Officer(MRO) will let you know the outcome of your drug test.

Does Costco also run a background check before hiring?

Yes, Costco performs a comprehensive background check before hiring to ensure that you meet its standards.

Does Costco drug test stockers?

Costco tests drug test stockers, like all other employees.

Does Costco drug test on the first interview?

This depends on the job you are applying for. In most cases, it is done after the second interview once they agree to hire you. However, for a few that may need one interview, you will be tested once successful.

Does Costco drug test twice?

An initial drug test will be done during the interview process. However, you will not get tested again unless there is a serious reason.

Does Costco have a probationary period?

Costco employees are given a 90-day probationary period to prove themselves.


Costco has a strict drug-free policy that they expect their employees to follow. As of 2022, Costco will not hire you if you use medical marijuana, even though it is allowed in your state. Any employee who fails the drug test will be terminated; therefore, we recommend avoiding drugs if you want to get a job at this massive retail store.

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