Some employers are abandoning drug testing requirements as a way to attract new hires and to retain current employees, according to survey data compiled by the Manpower Group

Pollsters surveyed representatives from over 45,000 employers in North America and Europe. Nine percent of respondents acknowledged that they had “eliminated job screenings or drug tests” as a way to either attract or keep their employees. Sixty-nine percent of respondents acknowledged experiencing “difficulty” in filling staffing positions in the current job market, a 15-year high. 

In June, representatives of the Amazon corporation announced that the company would no longer engage in pre-employment marijuana screenings for its new hires, except for those in federally regulated positions (that mandate drug testing). The company further announced in September that it had “reinstated eligibility for former employees and applicants who were previously terminated or deferred during random or pre-employment marijuana screenings.” The Amazon corporation is the second-largest employer in the United States.

In recent months, lawmakers in several states – Nevada, New Jersey, New York, and Montana – have enacted policies limiting employers’ ability to pre-screen applicants for past marijuana use, as have councilmembers in a growing number of municipalities, including AtlantaPhiladelphia, and Washington, DC. New York’s policy further limits employers’ ability to sanction current employees for their off-hours marijuana use absent evidence of “articulable symptoms of cannabis impairment.”

Urinalysis detects the presence of inactive marijuana byproducts that may be present for as many as 100 days post-abstinence. As per the United States Department of Justice, the detection of these products “only indicates that a particular substance is present in the test subject’s body tissue. It does not indicate abuse or addiction; recency, frequency, or amount of use; or impairment.” Additional information is available from NORML’s fact sheet, ‘Marijuana Legalization and Impact on the Workplace.’

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