What You Need to Know About Amazon, Labor Shortages, and Pre-Employment Testing for Marijuana

Some of your best current employees and most promising prospective employees use marijuana on occasion or regularly. Recently, Amazon decided to significantly curb the use of pre-employment drug testing for marijuana, drawing attention to the increasing challenge of attracting, securing, and keeping qualified, quality employees.

Amazon’s official statement is below:

Amazon is a powerful competitor for workers. Employing over 1.2 million people with across-country headquarters in Puget Sound, WA, and Arlington, VA, and 110 U.S. distribution facilities in 37 states, its decision has sent shock waves through the HR departments from Arizona to Wisconsin.

 In the current realities of labor shortages, particularly hourly labor, and increased competition for quality workers at all levels, other companies will have to follow suit or risk losing valuable talent. And, as reflected by Amazon’s official statement, it has become increasingly apparent that pre-employment drug screening is no longer a viable option. It is hurting companies’ ability to hire and keep quality workers and locking millions of people out of the workplace due to off-hours marijuana use which is not a sustainable option for most industries.

This presents a real catch 22 as companies have a vested interest in ensuring workers arrive at their shift clear-headed and ready to perform their job safely and effectively and that workers remain clear-headed throughout the duration of their time at work. What supervisors need to know, and Amazon’s decision underscores this fact, isn’t whether someone opted to relax after work hours with cannabis gummies or instead chose a beer, but whether or not that worker is impaired when they arrive to work for their next shift.

Drug testing has never provided an accurate indication of a person’s ability to perform their job and yet this incredibly invasive practice has locked out millions of people who use drugs — both licit and illicit — from the workplace.
Drug Policy Alliance (NPR)

Fortunately, there is a solution.

The AlertMeter® provides companies with an objective, cost-effective option for identifying real-time impairment from any cause, ensuring a non-discriminatory application of company policy relative to substances. 

The simple to use device-based interface takes under 90 seconds to complete and compares a result back to a personal baseline. This means, unlike drug testing, AlertMeter® can’t be cheated, and the status of any employee is available immediately.

Independently verified data has shown that companies who have added the AlertMeter® to their safety and substance compliance protocols have demonstrated:

  • 70% reduction in Workers’ Compensation claims
  • 90% reduction in drug-testing costs (for companies choosing to eliminate random testing*)
  • 35% reduction in worker turnover
  • 11% improvement in productivity 

Click here for a short, informative video on the future of managing impairment, and specifically, marijuana in the workplace, with AlertMeter®. 

* If your industry falls under certain regulations, your savings may be different. Executive Order 12564 and/or additional regulations from the Department of Transportation (DOT), Department of Defense (DOD), and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

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