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Labor shortages across America are having a negative effect for many businesses. A a result many large businesses ranging from hotels to manufacturers are dropping marijuana testing from their drug testing procedures to give them access to larger numbers of potential employees.
Michael Clarkson, head of a drug testing practise law firm (Ogletree Deakins) has said “It has come out of nowhere, I have heard from lots of clients things like, I can’t staff the third shift and test for marijuana”. This clearly shows that as marijuana becomes legalized more people are using it but the employment sectors hiring procedures are slow to adapt to the changing social environments.
In Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut medical marijuana users have won lawsuits against employers that have fired them and rescinded job offers for testing positive for marijuana.
Before courts would have usually favored with the business but know things are changing and the business sector needs to change with it. The Trump administration is also leaning towards the pro marijuana route as Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta suggested “employers need to take step-back on drug testing”.
Going forward employment laws and medical testing need to be changed to allow for people who use marijuana legally to find work. However, there must also be measures in place for employers who cannot risk hiring the same people. This would be due to job types which require an employee to be fully alert and show a duty of care to potential customers and the public i.e. forklift operators and bus drivers. Overall it looks like businesses will use their own judgement on who they hire and why they hire them.