Not long before, search engines of various browsers were busy providing results for how to pass a drug test. Now, the search seems to be over; not because everyone knows the right remedy but because employers of various states have decided against doing a drug test on their prospective candidates and their employees. Why did the change come about?
Thanks to the legalization of marijuana use in Washington D.C. and nine other states, prospects are looking up for American adults who can now choose to drink or smoke without fear of drug test.
Some major names in the market have announced this year that they no longer tested their employees for drug use. Excellence Health Inc., a leading business in the country, had stopped testing their employees for marijuana use for two years. The company has even setup a hotline so their employees who are trying to quit the habit of using drugs can reach them for assistance. However, the company still performs drug tests on employees who are involved in government contract work regardless of the state legalizing marijuana use.
AutoNation Inc., the leading auto dealer in the United States, has issued a statement recently that the company will no longer refuse to take in candidates who test positive for drug use.
Many other companies have softened their stand towards employees and candidates using drugs but have not publicly announced their decision to call off drug test.
The present scenario highlights the fact that companies that have their operations in states where the law legalizes the use of marijuana have dropped doing drug tests on their prospective employees and present employees. The decision to drop drug testing their prospective employees has greatly helped to strengthen the workforce of the companies as drug test had caused rejection of a good number of candidates for having failed drug test.
Now businesses can improve their productivity as they are now free to absorb in candidates based on their skills and performance and not on their drug history. Outshining foreign competitors is now possible as so far companies were unable to hire the best talent owing to drug testing procedure. Now that drug testing is not conducted, companies hire the best and boost their productivity levels. Companies are no longer keen about the weekend habits of their employees as this greatly reduces the options they have when hiring workers.
Not just the employers, but acceptance of drug use is increasing in the society as well. In the year 1969, only 12 percent of the American population supported the move to change the status of marijuana and legalize it. A poll conducted on the same subject in the recent past gave an update of Americans stand towards legalizing marijuana. Compared to 12 percent support in 1969, 64 percent support favoring legalization of marijuana reflect the change in the attitude of Americans towards drug use. Employers are of the opinion that when drug use is not seen as a bad practice in society, the need to drug test employees is not required. Spending money on the same can serve no purpose.
The change in the society’s attitude also reflected in the figures in balance sheets for businesses who ran drug tests on their employees and candidates. Various surveys show the share prices of such companies to have come down.
Regardless of the change in public opinion, many companies in the market do not support legalization of marijuana and still go about conducting a drug test on their employees and hire people only if they clear the drug test. Some of the big names in the trade that oppose marijuana use by their employees include Ford Motor Co. and Restaurant Brands International Inc.
An advantage for employers who test employees for drugs is that they are given discounts of compensation insurance of workers. However, it may not be a great deal for firms that run an office and not a factory. Compensation claims are more from workers working in factories than those who work in an office setting as the risk is almost nil. Hence, it may not be worth for employers to run drug tests on their employees who work in the office.
Though it is ultimately for the companies to decide for or against drug test, the fact is that employment drug test is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Few companies may still keep it alive but the end of drug test is inevitable.