HR Tip of the Week: Marijuana Testing-How Much Does It Tell Us?
Employers are challenged by changing landscape of legalized marijuana. Big questions loom around how to develop or change workplace drug use and testing policies. Here are some important things to keep in mind:
- Testing is not an indicator of impairment. Unlike with alcohol, you can’t come up with a single limit that is going to differentiate between unimpaired and impaired, or indicate when it was last used. Whether it is done by sampling urine, blood or hair, drug tests only show whether someone has used marijuana.
- Employers who are hiring for safety-sensitive positions, such as truck drivers or pilots, continue to test potential and current employees for marijuana. This is because these positions are subject to U.S. federal regulations, often under the U.S. Department of Transportation, that require them to conduct drug testing.
- It is within the employers’ right to have a drug free workplace policy which encompasses marijuana, even if employees have medical marijuana cards or recreational use is legal in their state.
To promote a drug free workplace, Employers should have a drug policy that includes proper training to make managers more likely to enforce the policy; access to support for employees with drug problems; clearly defined use and possession parameters for employees; established rules for post-accident testing; and rules on how to handle an employee’s conviction or arrest. Read more about the Science Behind Marijuana Testing.