As a professional employment screener who works alongside employers to protect their clients, workforce and reputation, Randisi & Associates, Inc. is uniquely qualified to speak on the issue of screening. A recent Baltimore Sun Editorial called into question whether or not potential employees should be screened for marijuana as legalization becomes more rampant.
In this editorial, the Board admitted that people shouldn’t come to work intoxicated on marijuana, but it wants to allow prospective hires a “pass” if they test positive for marijuana during pre-employment drug screenings, i.e. when the employer is drug testing potential hires. In the late 1980s, two studies of postal workers tested applicants but did not show the results to those making hiring decisions. Both studies found that employees who tested positive for drug use had a higher absentee rate and were more likely to be terminated. In one of the two studies, they also found a higher rate of accident and injury among employees with positive tests.
While supporting the legislation proposed by City Councilwoman Sharon Sneed, the Editorial Board does concede that job applicants for safety-sensitive positions should still be tested (those requiring driving, etc.). What constitutes a safety-sensitive position? One that presents life-threatening danger to an employee, other employees or the general public and that is performed in a manner or place where the danger is present; or one that requires the exercise of a high degree of caution or the use of discriminating judgment. Should someone working in a restaurant be allowed to be intoxicated and cut themselves on the job? At the end of the day, there is almost no job that does not require an employee to be sober and perform without error. Not sure if your business should stop testing? Take a look at our informative post here.
The Editorial Board also compares the recreational use of marijuana to alcohol. However, that comparison is not responsible. Alcohol only remains in the body for a few hours, while marijuana can be present for two to three days. It is not the same at all. Randisi & Associates, Inc. also disagrees that employers should not target recreational drug users if it does not interfere with performance. Employers should not be required to wait and risk serious accident or employee injury happens before taking action.
This is particularly true when employers consider what recreational marijuana use indicates about their employees when they are off the clock. One American Automobile Association study found that millions of Americans are driving while high on marijuana, with an estimated 14.8 million drivers getting behind the wheel within a single hour after marijuana use. This has led to an increase in fatalities.
Can your business afford to hire someone who is risking their well-being and others in the community, along with your reputation?
James P. Randisi, President of Randisi & Associates, Inc., has since 1999 been helping employers protect their clients, workforce and reputation through implementation of 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