- July 28, 2015
- Posted by: James White
- Category: News
While some states have already changed their laws to allow marijuana, and others are considering it, many employers are paying close attention. Some businesses are even considering changing their drug testing policies in an effort to meet the changing laws. However, there are still many organizations who are unwilling to make changes to their drug testing policies. Why? Because they want to continue protecting the safety and productivity of the workforce.
While there are many advocates who are arguing that the current drug testing policies are unfair in light of the new marijuana laws, those arguments are falling on deaf ears for many employers in the US. These employers continue to maintain rigid drug testing laws, and are unwilling to make any changes. This steadfast belief in their current drug testing policies is based on statistics, which paint a very clear picture of the benefits seen with these types of policies.
Numerous studies conducted over the years have shown that organizations who don’t use drug testing, either pre-employment or random screening, have higher rates of workers’ compensation claims, increased absenteeism, and decreased productivity. Additionally, companies that have chosen to institute these policies have reported improvements in all of these areas after doing so. These numbers are a clear indicator for many businesses, and the reason behind their refusing to alter their policies.
Drug Testing and the Workforce
The question for many employees is why these employers are unwilling to change their practices. The main reason is the benefit that drug testing provides for the business and the workforce. Business owners who fail to conduct drug tests can be liable for their employees’ actions if they are under the influence. Additionally, fellow employees are at a greater risk of injury when forced to work alongside someone who is using drugs on the job. These risks are still plenty of incentive for many employers, and a driving force behind their choice to maintain their drug testing policies.
While the laws may be slowly changing across the country, over half of all employers in the US still require drug testing. For these employers, and new ones each day, the ability to protect employees, customers, the business and productivity are much more important than the laws changed by individual states.