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Asked by Eloise on December 17, 2015

I might have drank too much water after doing my morning run, so my urine came out almost colorless during my pre-employment drug screen. I have never used drugs in my life, so I know the result won't be "positive."But how would major employers treat "negative-dilute" or "inconclusive" drug screen results? Treat it as "failed the drug test"? Allow candidate to re-test? Count it as a pass? Help!

Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at Cardinal Health, on December 23, 2015

All employers have varying policies around drug testing but in my personal opinion, I don't think this is something you need to be concerned with. I don't know how much water you drank but I think it would have to be an excessive amount for the results to come back as inconclusive. I imagine you will not be the first or last candidate to have a colorless sample. If your test does come back as diluted or inconclusive, your employer will more than likely allow you to re-take the test. Even if a test comes back positive, most employers will allow you to provide an explanation or documentation in the event it's a prescribed drug. If the situation arises that further investigation or another test is needed, be completely open and honest with your employer.

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Answered by Lori, Hiring Expert at Cigna, on January 22, 2016

Great question that I think many people wonder about, but are sometimes too shy to ask. All of your questions are correct. Organizations may have different policies on how they handle these situations. Some organizations will allow you to re-test and the recommendation would be to not drink as much water when you take the second test. Some employers will not accept any dilute tests and will not hire you, whereas others will move forward with negative-dilute candidates and bring them on-board. 

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Answered by Rachael, Hiring Expert at Merck & Co., Inc., on March 10, 2016

I have worked with various companies (large and small) that include the drug screening as a part of the background investigation, and I have processed many test results with a “Negative-Dilute”, so this is not out of the ordinary. Typically, this means that there was too much water in your sample for the lab technicians to get an accurate reading. When this happens, the lab or the company you interviewed with will notify you of your results and often request that you retake the test, but also reminding you to refrain from drinking too much water 24 hours prior to your appointment with the lab. If you get a second “Negative-Dilute” after advising you to limit your water intake, it may cause suspicion with the company. Some companies have a policy in place that may not hire a candidate if they have two consecutive “Negative-Dilutes”. My advice to you is to schedule your test early in the morning, as it will have less of a chance for a diluted sample, as well as provide a more accurate result.

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