Amazon Stops Testing Most Employees for Cannabis

In a blog post, Amazon—the second-largest private employer in the United States—announced that it will no longer test most job applicants for cannabis use after the company announced it now back legalizing marijuana nationwide. While Amazon disqualified applicants during the hiring due to pot use in the past, legalization laws in many states throughout the country have made CEO Dave Clark change course on the company’s previous stance. 

However, the only job candidates Amazon will screen for cannabis are individuals applying for position regulated by the Department of Transportation. Such job positions include delivery truck drivers and heavy machinery operators. 

Furthermore, the company says it will treat marijuana like alcohol. In the event of a workplace accident, for example, employees can be subject to a drug and alcohol test to determine if intoxication played a role in the incident. 

The policy team at Amazon will also be actively supporting the reintroduced Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (MORE Act), which would remove cannabis from the list of drugs in the federal Controlled Substance Act. If approved, the legislation would also tax pot products and direct a portion of the profits toward investments in communities that have suffered as a result of marijuana’s criminalization. 

Amazon has headquarters in many states where recreational marijuana is legal, including its home state of Washington. The company is expanding in Virginia—where cannabis becomes legal on July 1—and New York, which legalized pot at the end of March. 

Lastly, the company also announced it will revise its controversial “Time off Task” policy, which automatically tracks employees’ productivity by assessing how long their breaks last. As of June 1, 2021, Amazon averages “Time off Task” over a longer period, in order to identify and resolve true operational issues. 

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