Walmart’s Drug Test & Background Check Policy Explained

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Updated on October 5, 2023 by
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If you’re applying for a position at Walmart, you might be wondering if they do background checks and if you’ll be required to take a drug test.

There’s a lot of mixed information out there. We decided to get to the bottom of it.

Does Walmart required background checks and drug tests for all employees? Let’s dive in.

What is Drug Screening?

Drug testing is a process that is conducted by employers, schools, and other organizations to identify drug users. The drug testing process is performed to determine if the individual is using drugs.

It also serves as a preventive measure against the spread of drugs. This process of drug testing can be done by detecting certain chemicals that are found in the body’s metabolites as a result of using drugs. Some of these chemicals include urine, blood, hair, and saliva

Does Walmart Drug Test Employees?

Yes, Walmart requires drug tests from employees, but ONLY for certain departments.

Here are the positions where Walmart will need you to take a drug test:

  • If you’re applying for a job in the deli department.
  • If you’re applying for a job in the pharmacy department.
  • If you’re applying for a job in the sporting goods department.
  • If you’re applying for a job in the auto center department.
  • If you’re applying for a management position.

Some of these departments work with machinery (such as forklifts, cutting machines, etc.). Pharmacy techs work around medications. In sporting goods, there are various items such as guns and knives. Walmart wants to ensure that all employees in these departments are not impaired on the job, as this could be a danger to the store’s customers, other employees, and the potentially impaired employee themselves.

In most cases, seasonal workers (who work on Black Friday and Christmas) are not required to take a drug test.

Walmart does not conduct pre-screening drug tests for other entry-level positions anymore (Entry-level positions include stockers, backroom associates, and cashiers). After checking Indeed and existing employee blogs, it seems that Walmart hasn’t drug-tested new entry-level hires since at least 2017.

NOTE: You will also need to take a drug test if you get injured and want to apply for workers comp.

Will I have to urinate in a cup?

Walmart does not require you to do a drug test at your interview. Instead, they may ask you to go to a local drug testing center the same day as your interview or a day later.

Does Walmart conduct random drug testing?

Technically, Walmart can conduct random drug tests. However, it seems to be a very rare case. From reading over 100 cases of hiring at Walmart, and speaking with dozens of employees, we only found one single instance of a random drug test being administered, and it was for an employee working in the pharmacy.

Most Walmart employees have worked for years without having to go through any random drug tests.

Can I decline a random drug test (as a Walmart employee)? 

Yes, but if you decline to take a random drug test, Walmart may view this as a positive test result. They reserve the right to terminate your employment in that case.

What Kind of Drug Test Does Walmart Administer?

Walmart uses standard urine testing for their drug tests. Specifically, they are testing for five main drugs:

  1. Methamphetamine
  2. Marijuana
  3. Heroin
  4. Cocaine
  5. PCP

Urine are the most popular kind of drug test because they’re the simplest and fastest. After examination, Walmart can get the results back in just a day or two. Once they receive the results, they might call you in about the next interview process.

Is it possible to cheat on a Walmart drug test?

If you know you’ll test positive for drug use, it’s best to come clean with HR and perhaps try to explain the situation clearly. Cheating on a drug test is near impossible. Test administrators undergo several checks to make sure the urine samples are legitimate, including temperature checks on the urine.

What Happens If You Fail Your Drug Test?

A positive test case in your drug test can lead to termination. Failing to complete the drug test in the allotted time frame can also lead to termination.

You should check out Walmart’s drug testing policy to make sure you won’t fail your drug test. You might also want to try home drug test beforehand.

Does Walmart Do Background Checks?

Yes, Walmart conducts background checks on all employees. If you applied for a position at Walmart, they will do a background check before offering you the job. Here is a detailed guide on background checks for employment to help you learn more about the process.

A pre-employment drug test is necessary for higher positions.

Current employees might also get called to do post-accident testing or suspicion testing based on their work behavior.

How many years back does Walmart go for background checks?

Under Federal Law, Walmart can only go back seven years on your record for jobs earning under $85,000 per year, and 14 years for jobs that earn over $85,000 per year.

However, some employees have reported that Walmart HR went back 20 years for their background checks, which is frightening to say the least. After speaking with several Walmart employees, it seems that Walmart frequently checks further back than 7 years. Note that some states permit background checks to go back 10 years.

Walmart’s background check looks for misdemeanors and felony convictions. If your record is spotty (especially a violent record), the company may not hire you.

In addition, if you have violent, sexual, drug, and/or financial/larceny offenses, chances are you may be disqualified from the employment process. Walmart does not hire anyone who has a violent past.

This is done to create an illegal substance-free workplace and a conducive hiring process.

What if I was arrested but not convicted?

Arrests with convictions are a red flag. If you were arrested, but no convictions were made, then it’s technically okay. However, the arrest will still show up on your record and it could sway the decision of HR.

Will Walmart hire ex-felons?

Technically, and officially, the answer is YES, Walmart does hire ex-felons. However, after speaking with over a dozen ex-felons who applied to Walmart, it seems that they rarely get offered the position in the end.

Does Walmart check your credit score as part of the background check?

Credit scores show up during background checks, but Walmart does not use your credit score as part of their hiring decision.

How many people are fired from Walmart for failing a drug test?

According to the Walmart Employee Blog, Walmart fired at least ten employees in 2017 for failing a drug test. That’s a small number, but it’s enough to be alarming.

Is it possible to get hired at Walmart without having to take a drug test?

If you have no criminal record and are otherwise qualified, then you should be able to get hired at Walmart without having to take a drug test. The only exception is if you’re applying for a management position. The application process is different, and managers need to pass the pre-employment background check.

Do you have to pay for Walmart drug test?

Yes, you’ll need to pay for your Walmart drug test. It costs $35 at Walmart, but you can find them on sale sometimes.

If you’re planning to work at Walmart, it’s best to get your drug test done at a certified lab, such as Quest Diagnostics. You can get your drug test done for free if you are under the age of 40.

Does Walmart drug test non-Walmart employees?

Yes, Walmart does conduct background checks on all non-Walmart employees who apply for positions at the company. If you work for a company that contracts with Walmart, they may also be required to drug test you. For example, McDonald’s hires thousands of people through a contract with Walmart and therefore requires all employees to take a drug test.

What is the minimum age to work at Walmart?

You must be 18 years old to work at Walmart. However, there are exceptions that may allow some younger people to apply for jobs at Walmart (check out our page on young workers).

What is the first step in getting hired at Walmart?

You can apply for any position at Walmart online, or over the phone. After you apply, you’ll get an application and a background check. If you pass the background check, then Walmart will call you to schedule an interview.

What is the best Walmart drug test kit?

We recommend getting your Walmart drug test done at Quest Diagnostics. Quest Diagnostics has a convenient in-store location in most Walmart stores, and they offer fast turnaround times on drug tests.

If you want to be sure that your Walmart drug test is accurate, then we recommend getting a second opinion from another lab.

How to check your Walmart employment application status

When your Walmart employment application and background check have been submitted, you can check the status of your application by logging on to your personal account. Here, you can find notifications or issues with the background check. It’s also possible to access the frequently asked questions for further information.


Yes, Walmart conducts background checks on all employees before they are hired. Drug testing is only required when you work in pharmacy, deli, sporting goods, auto, and managerial roles.

More resources for Walmart employees

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