Company drug testing has been around for a long time now, but when it was first introduced, there was nowhere in the United States where recreational drug use was legal. Now four states and the District of Columbia have fully legalized marijuana, and 20 more have some form of legalized marijuana use. How does that affect companies that won’t hire applicants who fail drug tests?
It turns out- that point might be moot, because so many candidates aren’t even bothering to get past the drug test portion of the screening process. That’s right, people who are applying for jobs even in states where drugs are still illegal just give up when it comes time to be tested.
As you can well imagine, that’s creating a seriously small pool of workers to draw from. Highly skilled workers who could and should be making a real difference in the workforce are taking jobs at places like McDonald’s, which doesn’t routinely test and has no testing to bar employment. It’s no disrespect to McDonald’s, but it’s at the lower end of the job skills spectrum.
Is there a solution? Not really. The companies that have drug testing in place have it in place for a reason, and if prospective employees know they’re going to fail the test anyway, the hiring system is at a stalemate. The only hope is that drug users who may be a good fit for these open positions, will get themselves clean and join the workforce.
Our Sr. Risk Manager, Steve Petty weighs in:
“The drug problem used to be centered around company’s needing unskilled and/or construction labor, but the “cancer” has spread to just about all levels ,where all too often, we find owners unwilling to confront the problem head on. Excuses over how challenging it is doesn’t matter, once a high Work Comp MOD has latched onto a company. Make no mistake about it – 95% of the time under the radar drug problems – both illegal & legal used illegally – drive a high MOD – which drives high premiums.
THE GOOD NEWS – we can provide the “behavior” cure.”