Illegal or Legal, How Do Marijuana Laws Affect Your Workplace?
You might be surprised to find out how many people, that are either on staff or contractors that support your company, come to work impaired. Maybe you drug tested candidates during your pre-employment process. Do you think that is enough to ensure that your workplace is drug-free? With statistics showing that illegal drug use is up at the highest level in many years, it is likely that you have employees right now that are abusing drugs.
In addition to illegal drugs, now employers in some states are challenged with how to handle employees using medical marijuana legally. And this trend will continue to grow as more states legalize the use of marijuana for recreational purposes too. Although many states have made marijuana legal for medicinal purposes, it remains classified as a Schedule I substance at the federal level. Technically, this makes distribution of marijuana a federal offense, but much has been done to move towards allowing states to have authority over their own marijuana policy.
In the case of recreational marijuana use, there are 23 states and the District of Columbia that have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana. Typically, this means that a small amount for personal use is a civil or local infraction, not a state crime.
How does illegal drug use affect your company?
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), more than 70% of people with a substance abuse problem do manage to be employed. The problems they cause cost employers upwards of $81 Billion each year! This means that as an employer, your company could take a monetary hit from the negative effects of employees’ drug use. This can include higher turnover rates, absenteeism, productivity reduction and customer loss. And, in more extreme cases, theft and even violence.
Illegal drug use most certainly will affect your company’s culture and employee morale. Absenteeism and erratic behavior will cause resentment when other employees are forced to “cover” for impaired staff. Customers will be affected as well and may decide to move on to another company with more professionalism and less drama.
Employee illegal drug use carries more risk of occupational injuries and legal issues too. Healthcare costs for employees with drug problems are higher so, over all, they are a cause of increasing health care premiums.
Although it may be hard to ascertain the exact monetary loss to your company, you can be certain that it is a much higher cost than it would be to adopt a drug-free work environment policy. If you already do pre-employment drug testing, you are halfway to your drug-free environment already. If you are thinking about starting to do drug testing, check your state’s regulations first but generally you will be okay if:
- Your applicant has been notified in advance of the drug testing
- You have offered employment contingent on passing the test
- Your applicants are tested similarly
- You have the test administered by a state-certified laboratory
Most state laws allow employers to drug test employees ongoing after employment, but the guidelines vary by state. Typically, current employees can be tested
- After an accident
- If there is good reason to believe the employee is using drugs
- If the job has a high risk of injury or damage if performed by a person under the influence.
Using a professional CRA partner can help.
Using a professional CRA (Consumer Reporting Agency) for your B2B background screening services and convenient, fast drug testing will save you time and money. For a free consultation or more information, contact Genesis Background Screening Services at 866 944-0041 ext 101. Online, you can email or visit www.genesisbackgroundscreening.com. You can sign up to be emailed whenever we post a new blog at https://genesisbackgroundscreening.com/blog/
Genesis Background Screening is not a law firm and provides our blogs for informational purposes only. Blog is not a substitute for experienced legal advice. Research laws or regulations mentioned in our blogs and ask your legal counsel any questions you have to be sure your organization is within the law and compliant with regulations.
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