In July of this year, e-commerce giant Amazon announced their new drug testing policy and support of federal marijuana legalization. The Seattle based company said they would no longer be drug testing their employees, though this excludes those working in transportation. Now, according to Bloomberg, Amazon is urging their delivery partners – the folks in the notorious blue vans – to not screen applicants for marijuana use anymore.
Applicants for Amazon Delivery Drivers are on a Decline
Believe it or not, mom and pop businesses own the blue delivery vans that Amazon uses. As it turns out, these companies are presently having trouble recruiting delivery drivers. Additionally, it’s likely they’re having even more trouble in states with legal cannabis, such as Nevada, Oregon, and Colorado.
Amazon’s solution for the declining number of applicants is for companies to advertise that they do not test applicants for cannabis use. They say that doing so could boost the number of applicants by “as much as 400%.” Likewise, screening for cannabis could potentially cut the pool of prospective employers by upwards of 30%. This is a very crucial time for hiring with the holiday season right around the corner.
Some Amazon Delivery Partners are Concerned
Many of these small businesses are worried about legal and insurance issues, however. Companies in states where cannabis is illegal seem to be most concerned, and reasonably so. Conversely, other companies are finding benefits behind this more relaxed drug screening policy. One such company shared that weed was, in fact, the main reason people would fail drug screenings.
Additionally, some companies worry that drivers may light up before hitting the road; but this concern is not very reasonable when compared to alcohol policies. Drivers are required to be sober when working, so if they are able to be trusted without a test not to drink and drive, then it is only fair to trust workers to not use marijuana on the job regardless of their personal decisions outside of work.
If an employee is involved in a situation that requires legal or medical attention, such as a car crash, they may still be required to take a drug test. This could include screening for THC in the system also.
In the past, like many employers, we’ve disqualified people from working at Amazon if they tested positive for marijuana use. However, given where state laws are moving across the U.S., we’ve changed course.Dave Clark, CEO, Worldwide Consumer