While there has long been a belief that marijuana users are involved in more accidents, there is now recent concrete evidence. Workforce positivity rates have reached a 20-year high in the wake of increased marijuana legalization, based on research from Quest Diagnostics.
Currently, the top three sectors with positivity rates are retail trade, accommodation and food services, and transportation and warehousing. This is concerning for many employers, as these industries involve heavy equipment and high levels of stress and require a clear head.
Additionally, marijuana testing rates were higher in post-accident testing. In 2022, post-accident positivity rates were 7.3%, which was a .6% increase over the same figure in 2021. Over the past 10 years, the amount of post-accident marijuana positivity has doubled. This shows that marijuana users are involved in more accidents, and employers need to react accordingly.
If your employees are using marijuana and under the influence of drugs on the clock, you are at a higher risk of an accident happening that harms your company, your other employees, your customers, and your reputation. Companies cannot afford to employ workers who are unable to perform their duties sober
By establishing a clear link between the duties and responsibilities of a job and why an employee cannot be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you can protect yourself. We have written in the past on how to make this connection.
When taking a closer look at the results of the new study from Quest Diagnostics, you can see that the retail trade industry does not just have a high positivity rate of marijuana, but also many other drugs. Outside of retail trade and the industries mentioned above, the overall positivity rate (not just post-accident or pre-employment) for marijuana is now 4.3%, up from 3.9% in 2021 and 2.8% in 2018. If you do not currently have a plan to address positivity in your workforce and the reality that marijuana users are involved in more accidents, we are here to help.
James P. Randisi, President of Randisi & Associates, Inc., has been helping employers protect their clients, workforce and reputation through implementation of employment screening and drug testing programs since 1999. This post does not constitute legal advice. Randisi & Associates, Inc. is not a law firm. Always contact competent employment legal counsel. To learn more about the rights of employees who test positive for marijuana, Mr. Randisi can be contacted by phone at 410.494.0232 or Email: email@example.com or the website at randisiandassociates.com