With states continuing to decriminalize and legalize recreational marijuana use, should marijuana even be part of workplace drug test for plant workers?
Drug Testing for Plant Workers
As regulations and attitudes around marijuana relax, the drug is starting to be seen as an indulgence on the level of alcohol and not a hard, addictive drug. And even alcohol can be dangerous when used to excess— one look at the statistics of drunk driving accidents can tell you that. And whether you work in an automotive plant, operate a forklift, or drive a delivery truck, having less than total control over your faculties can result in damage to property, injury to people (including yourself), or even death.
Most employees sign an agreement when they get hired that they won’t show up to work drunk, and acknowledging that if they do, disciplinary action will be taken, up to and including terminating them from their position.
The Risk Factor in Taking Chances
What you as an employer have to do is weigh the possible outcomes against each other. On the one hand, performing random drug tests means you run the risk of having to fire a good employee who happens to use marijuana in their down-time, but has never brought it to work. On the other hand, not performing the tests means there’s a chance someone could come to work high, use dangerous machinery while under the influence, and cause damage to people or property. Of course, that chance exists whether you subject your employees to random drug tests or not, but the random drug and alcohol tests are likely to bring you some peace of mind that you’ve done your best to mitigate the risk of negligent retention. Having a random drug and alcohol testing program can also provide a shield against the tort of respondeat superior if an employee injures someone and are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Ultimately, there’s no easy answer to balancing outdated attitudes about marijuana use with minimizing the risk of an incident in your warehouse or plant. It’s up to each employer to decide what the right choice is for them and their business— and Randisi & Associates is here to help you move forward with all your screening and testing needs.
Protect Your Investment and Your Reputation
James P. Randisi, President of Randisi & Associates, Inc., has since 1999 been helping employers protect their clients, workforce and reputation through implementation employment screening and drug testing programs. This post does not constitute legal advice. Randisi & Associates, Inc. is not a law firm. Always contact competent employment legal counsel. Mr. Randisi can be contacted by phone at 410.494.0232 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or the website at randisiandassociates.com