Cannabis in the workplace

Tranquility

Well-Known Member
BIG changes at Amazon. This might be the weight that assures legalization.
Amazon Now Supports Federal Cannabis Legalization
...“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,” Clark wrote. “We will no longer include marijuana in our comprehensive drug screening program for any positions not regulated by the Department of Transportation, and will instead treat it the same as alcohol use.”

Clark said Amazon will continue “impairment checks” for employees on the job and will test for all drugs and alcohol after any incident.

Amazon is also taking its change of heart around cannabis to Washington. Clark said the company’s public policy team will be “actively supporting” the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (MORE Act), a federal bill reintroduced to the House by Representative Jerry Nadler, a Democrat from New York and the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee...
 
Tranquility,

Gunky

Well-Known Member
https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/01/tech/amazon-marijuana-time-off-task/index.html
(CNN Business)Amazon announced Tuesday it supports the federal legalization of marijuana, and that the company is revising a controversial workplace policy critics say has been used to keep employees working at a breakneck pace.
The twin announcements, Amazon said, are aimed at reiterating the company's commitment to being an attractive employer.
In a blog post, Dave Clark, CEO of Amazon's worldwide consumer division, said changing state laws on marijuana mean Amazon (AMZN) will no longer include the substance in the company's pre-employment drug tests and that the drug will now be treated the same as alcohol.
 

florduh

Well-Known Member
Seeing the final paragraph in that article makes me think you need to be high to endure working in one of their "Fulfillment Centers".

"The primary goal of the Time off Task metric is to understand whether there are issues with the tools that people use to be productive, and only secondarily to identify under-performing employees," he wrote. "Starting today, we're now averaging Time off Task over a longer period to ensure that there's more signal and less noise—reinforcing the original intent of the program, and focusing Time off Task conversations on how we can help. The goal is to re-focus the conversations on instances where there are likely true operational issues to resolve. We believe this change will help ensure the Time off Task policy is used in the way it was intended."
 

cybrguy

Space For Rent
I'm pretty liberal along these lines, but if there were a decent test for inebriation (which is likely coming from roadside testing) rather than blood stream presence I don't think it unreasonable for an employer to test for it as long as that is understood up front. Very much the same as alcohol testing. I think an employer has a right to expect his employees to not be shit faced at work. It's not like work performance isn't likely to be affected by significant buzz level. I think it is a reasonable condition of employment.
That being said, medical use should probably be excepted with a doctors "authorization".
 

florduh

Well-Known Member
Work performance is the employer’s business. What you do on your off time is not. Pre-employment screenings are particularly unreasonable. Same with “random” testing.

Americans like to pretend they live in a free country. But they spend most of their lives beholden to the whims of petty corporate tyrants.
 

cybrguy

Space For Rent
Work performance is the employer’s business.
Right. I'm talking about at work, not coming to your house when you are having your buds over. We all know people who can't do math, safely drive, or even have a decent conversation when they are "too" stoned. An employer must be allowed to protect his business from employee incompetence or misbehavior. An employer is liable for the behavior of his staff.
 

florduh

Well-Known Member
Right. I'm talking about at work, not coming to your house when you are having your buds over. We all know people who can't do math, safely drive, or even have a decent conversation when they are "too" stoned. An employer must be allowed to protect his business from employee incompetence or misbehavior. An employer is liable for the behavior of his staff.

If an employee can't speak or do math well enough to complete their job functions, discipline them for that. Why do we have to bring their blood and piss into the mix?

Unfortunately with our current drug testing technology, employer drug screenings for cannabis are functionally the same as your boss coming over to your house when you're chooming with your buds. And while I hope having an instant roadside style test for cannabis will help, it could become just as dystopic. Here, blow into this tube before you clock in. Less intrusive. Just as Almost as unreasonable. I know coders who perform flawlessly while high. And as you pointed out, there are people who can't form full sentences after consuming. The solution: discipline based on performance. Not blood chemistry.

Speaking of liability.... the Amazon change is good PR for the cannabis community. But here's how I see it playing out for their employees. Amazon says "hey guys! 420 blaze it amirite? We're such a cool employer!" Until you get mauled by one of their warehouse robots. The post-incident investigation necessitates a tox screening. Oops! Turns out you smoked a joint at home 3 weeks ago. Looks like the accident was YOUR fault. No worker's comp for you! Also, shards from your femur caused $40k in damage to our robot. So you're fired now. Good luck affording a prosthetic leg on COBRA!

Now, I'm all for drug testing safety critical positions. I don't care if Captain Dave says can land a plane perfectly on edibles. But if I'm doing spreadsheets at a desk all day? They can Fuck right off. The employer's only valid concern is the quality of my work. Not what I have to do at home to endure another day of it.
 
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His_Highness

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king
I've been a computer person by trade for close to 40 years. I've done everything from run multi-million dollar, long term projects with over 100 participants to entry level coding, analysis and design.

For myself.....I have found that seriously complex work requiring a concentration on minutia wasn't a good match with cannabis. There are some areas where cannabis could sometimes help like when you reach a roadblock at 2am and need some "outside the box" thinking but overall........I wouldn't want anyone I work with in computing working high. There's the old computer story about the missing period in a line of code that cost a project over a million dollars. I don't know about you folks but I believe cannabis would increase the chance of missing that period.

When I was 17 I worked in a bakery making rolls from midnight to 8am using a machine to stamp out the rolls and a conveyer belt. I never did that job straight. The bakery owner knew many of his employees drank and did drugs and he could care less as long as the work was quality oriented and completed. Working in the bakery was "no brainer" work and the biggest down side was the boredom so...... cannabis to the rescue.
 

florduh

Well-Known Member
For myself.....I have found that seriously complex work requiring a concentration on minutia wasn't a good match with cannabis. There are some areas where cannabis could sometimes help like when you reach a roadblock at 2am and need some "outside the box" thinking but overall........I wouldn't want anyone I work with in computing working high. There's the old computer story about the missing period in a line of code that cost a project over a million dollars. I don't know about you folks but I believe cannabis would increase the chance of missing that period.

I largely agree that cannabis isn't conducive to most complex computer work. Unfortunately with current drug testing tech for cannabis, there is no way for that test to determine if you consumed right before you clocked in, or over your last weekend. Given that limitation, my opinion is that employers rooting around in your blood or piss to look for a violation of company policy is unreasonable.

To me, if an employee's performance is poor enough for you to suspect they're on the devil's lettuce, you already had grounds to discipline or terminate them. If it's not, then you don't need any of their urine. Managers should just, you know, manage their people.

Sleep deprivation also causes costly mistakes. Should your boss come tuck you in at night to ensure you get a full 8 hours? Well that would be ridiculous. I don't view drug tests for non safety critical roles as any less ridiculous. Especially given what current testing tech actually tests for.
 

His_Highness

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king
I largely agree that cannabis isn't conducive to most complex computer work. Unfortunately with current drug testing tech for cannabis, there is no way for that test to determine if you consumed right before you clocked in, or over your last weekend. Given that limitation, my opinion is that employers rooting around in your blood or piss to look for a violation of company policy is unreasonable.

To me, if an employee's performance is poor enough for you to suspect they're on the devil's lettuce, you already had grounds to discipline or terminate them. If it's not, then you don't need any of their urine. Managers should just, you know, manage their people.

Sleep deprivation also causes costly mistakes. Should your boss come tuck you in at night to ensure you get a full 8 hours? Well that would be ridiculous. I don't view drug tests for non safety critical roles as any less ridiculous. Especially given what current testing tech actually tests for.
I don't disagree except for......liability insurance, medical benefits/insurance and stock holders.

A company trying to keep these expenses at the lowest acceptable rate will be required to test employees for drug use whether they are a public company or not. If they are a public company.....your stockholders aren't going to support you if you have a soft spot for drug use that causes your expenses and liabilities to be higher than necessary.

Companies have to deal with the above to also provide benefits to their employees to retain them. Those companies have to weigh the cost of employee retention against employee alienation for those using drugs....so far alienating the drug using employee hasn't turned out to be the best option.

The good news is that there are companies trying to find happy mediums since cannabis legalization.

Not long ago there was a company that demanded their employees quit smoking cigarettes so the company could lower the cost of the company's medical benefits. If I remember correctly the company gave the smoking employees a period of time to quit or be let go.
 

florduh

Well-Known Member
I don't disagree except for......liability insurance, medical benefits/insurance and stock holders.

This is why instead of relying on the largesse of our corporate overlords, lawmakers should make unreasonable searches of employee body fluids illegal. Protecting us from this sort of bullshit is supposed to be their job.

As far as medical insurance costs go, you've maybe stumbled on the 1 millionth reason why tying medical insurance to employment back in the 40's was a massive fucking error. Although I'm willing to bet decades of eating Oreos will increase medical costs more than cannabis use. I'm almost certain that's what the data shows.

Maybe the stockholders should demand random pantry checks at employee homes? We've gotta ensure you're eating healthy food after all. That might be too unreasonable. I've got it! Random blood sugar tests for employees! More make-work profits for LabCorp! Everybody wins!
 

Tranquility

Well-Known Member
This is why instead of relying on the largesse of our corporate overlords, lawmakers should make unreasonable searches of employee body fluids illegal. Protecting us from this sort of bullshit is supposed to be their job.

As far as medical insurance costs go, you've maybe stumbled on the 1 millionth reason why tying medical insurance to employment back in the 40's was a massive fucking error. Although I'm willing to bet decades of eating Oreos will increase medical costs more than cannabis use. I'm almost certain that's what the data shows.

Maybe the stockholders should demand random pantry checks at employee homes? We've gotta ensure you're eating healthy food after all. That might be too unreasonable. I've got it! Random blood sugar tests for employees! More make-work profits for LabCorp! Everybody wins!
"Could you define the market — everybody has to buy food sooner or later, so you define the market as food, therefore, everybody is in the market; therefore, you can make people buy broccoli,”
A question Scalia asked in the oral arguments of Obamacare. (King v. Burwell)

According to the majority, they said yes. Only three dissented from the proposition. As you wrote previously, "Americans like to pretend they live in a free country." It's not just the corporations, its what we choose to do together.

While I keep close track of my bodily fluids and parts and am thankful I've escaped testing much of my life, does an employer ever get a right/ability to demand a drug test or accept firing? If there is some type of level of "proof" required like reasonable suspicion or beyond reasonable doubt before the ask? Is there any due process involved? Who is in charge of those proceedings? Would a person have a right to appeal?

Besides, with the AI watchmen, is this really the issue? If the camera on your laptop can record if you are paying attention to the screen to certain levels, is life without a blood test that much better than a management intervention because you daydreamed 19.7 minutes yesterday with a threat of firing if it is repeated? True performance-based monitoring is possible through tech. It's not just drug testing that's the problem but the entire job situation as it is currently enacted.

I feel like just another spoke in a great big wheel...

 

His_Highness

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king
Most companies that catch an employee dirty have to provide the person with "help for that sickness/addiction" before they can let the employee go.

I knew a manager who was much loved by the employees but was also a drug addict and alcoholic. The manager's spiral out of control included things like disappearing during the day. The employees covered for the manager and the company tried to do the right thing by requiring the manager to get help several times and a few times it looked like it might work. Eventually a district manager held a surprise visit and found the manager passed out in the bathroom with an empty bottle of wine. That was the last straw and the manager was fired.

Best thing that could have happened.....that was rock bottom and the manager finally turned the corner.

EDIT: @Tranquility - I actually did get caught surfing the net consistently for non-work things and I was told to stop it.....I was also told I was only going to be asked once. If I were the employer I would have done the same thing.
 
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florduh

Well-Known Member
While I keep close track of my bodily fluids and parts and am thankful I've escaped testing much of my life, does an employer ever get a right/ability to demand a drug test or accept firing? If there is some type of level of "proof" required like reasonable suspicion or beyond reasonable doubt before the ask? Is there any due process involved? Who is in charge of those proceedings? Would a person have a right to appeal?

My central problem with all of this, if we're only talking about cannabis, is that drug test will not give the employer the only information that is their business. Namely, "is this employee currently under the active influence of cannabis?" The existing state of drug testing technology effectively allows employers to forbid their employees from consuming cannabis at home. That's the part I find unreasonable.

I don't want to defend employees who are so impaired at work that an employer would feel a drug test is truly needed. But if we're not talking about a safety critical role.... managers need to handle suspected inebriation at work the way they did before drug testing technology was invented. Because from my perspective as a cannabis user, the tech still ain't there yet. At least for this use case.

I've never fucked with either drug, but my understanding is you can do coke every night, or heroin every Friday-Saturday and pass any drug test during the work week with flying colors. Same with getting blackout drunk 7 nights per week. But smoking a joint in Vegas 3 weeks ago? You're fired. I suppose a law that makes testing for cannabis unactionable by employers unactionable would work. One can dream.

Besides, with the AI watchmen, is this really the issue? If the camera on your laptop can record if you are paying attention to the screen to certain levels, is life without a blood test that much better than a management intervention because you daydreamed 19.7 minutes yesterday with a threat of firing if it is repeated? True performance-based monitoring is possible through tech. It's not just drug testing that's the problem but the entire job situation as it is currently enacted.

You're absolutely right. Employment will become more and more hellish as technology progresses. This is why I'm being so obstinate about the whole drug testing thing! Fine. My corporate liege lord can make my life as miserable as he wants for 40-60 hours per week. But what I have to do at home so I can endure another day of servitude is none of his business!

I've met a whole load of people who I know would likely benefit from some form of cannabis use. But they can't because their stupid job forbids it. I think that's awful. And over the past year, a whole bunch of cannabis using friends have had to quit because they're looking for a new job. For the life of me, I can't understand why it's an employer's business how someone gets through one of the most difficult things to experience in America: a job loss.
 

Tranquility

Well-Known Member
But what I have to do at home so I can endure another day of servitude is none of his business!

Welcome to the cult of libertarianism. The home of classical liberals. Where rights are rights and the Constitution means something.

american-patriot-minuteman-holding-musket-rifle-shield-retro-illustration-facing-side-set-inside-crest-stars-40961133.jpg
 

Tranquility

Well-Known Member
Most companies that catch an employee dirty have to provide the person with "help for that sickness/addiction" before they can let the employee go.
While some here might claim cannabis cannot result in a disability, I believe there is support for a cannabis use disorder. The problem is, the main law protecting against discrimination over disabilities is federal. There, while the ADA (Actually, ADAA) protects those with disabilities it ALSO says, "a qualified individual with a disability shall not include any employee or applicant who is currently engaging in the illegal use of drugs, when the covered entity acts on the basis of such use." This prevents litigation if a user is fired without a reasonable accommodation.

This is usually the case even if the state has a medical marijuana or adult-use law. As long as the claim is the ADA, cannabis is not a current winner. The times when it would be an issue is in a state that has similar statutes to the ADA and the litigation is through those state statutes where the state allows for use. (Taking it out of the "illegal use" category.)

There is also a subset where a person using cannabis will claim the underlying disability they are using the cannabis for is why they were fired and not because of poor performance or because of illegal use of cannabis. In this case, some states (here, Connecticut) have allowed for use in court decisions and prevented firing. (https://casetext.com/case/noffsinger-v-ssc-niantic-operating-co-2) Conversely, from the same state, https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=669157128065021422&hl=en&as_sdt=6&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr

The key is being in a state where use is legal and that has a law similar to the federal ADA. While I didn't do a search, I suspect that will be more blue states, like my great state of California.
 

florduh

Well-Known Member
Welcome to the cult of libertarianism. The home of classical liberals. Where rights are rights and the Constitution means something.

american-patriot-minuteman-holding-musket-rifle-shield-retro-illustration-facing-side-set-inside-crest-stars-40961133.jpg

In my youth, the Iraq War caused me to become a (Right) libertarian. My first vote for President was whoever the Libertarian Party candidate was in '04. I sure wasn't voting for the war criminal or that Groot lookin motherfucker.

But as time moved on, I realized the government isn't the only organization with the ability to derange my life or deprive me of liberty. This entire discussion began because the Fourth Amendment does not functionally exist in the place Americans spend the majority of their waking lives. "Give me your blood and piss so I can determine if you're a dirty dope smoker. If you refuse, I will threaten your ability to feed, clothe, and house yourself." Is this Liberty? Doesn't feel like it. You can call it a "voluntary" relationship, but the human body has some fairly involuntary needs.

The First Amendment protects my ability to call Sleepy Joe a cunt on Twitter*. But try calling the CEO of the corporation you work for a cunt and see how much freedom of speech you have. Similarly, the Second Amendment only protects your right to defend yourself on nights and weekends. Floriduh lets employees with a CCW keep a firearm in their car. Cool. So if we're being robbed, I just hit "pause", run out to my car, equip my firearm, run back, and resume game?

libertarian.jpg

*this isn't actually true either. Because 2 or 3 multinational corporations control speech in this country.
 

Tranquility

Well-Known Member
In my youth, the Iraq War caused me to become a (Right) libertarian. My first vote for President was whoever the Libertarian Party candidate was in '04. I sure wasn't voting for the war criminal or that Groot lookin motherfucker.

But as time moved on, I realized the government isn't the only organization with the ability to derange my life or deprive me of liberty. This entire discussion began because the Fourth Amendment does not functionally exist in the place Americans spend the majority of their waking lives. "Give me your blood and piss so I can determine if you're a dirty dope smoker. If you refuse, I will threaten your ability to feed, clothe, and house yourself." Is this Liberty? Doesn't feel like it. You can call it a "voluntary" relationship, but the human body has some fairly involuntary needs.
While I've voted third party a lot, rarely has it been for the Libertarian. I'm more of a liberal. I think there is some place for government and most that get to the top of the Libertarian party seem, well, nuts. (Although I can totally see hating Bush at the time and not really wanting to pull the lever for Lurch.) Maybe you choose Nader. I think that was the best shot for his ever losing candidacies.

The 4th amendment is a thing I believe you should not focus on too much. You have the right to refuse. You'll get fired, but, you have that right. Just as with the 1st amendment. Freedom of Speech is not the same of ability to speak without recrimination. We still have to take responsibility for the speech we freely made. I humbly suggest not crapping on your employer though speech either on or off the clock. We have a freedom of assembly too. Go try to assemble with who you want during working hours....

The reason I don't really want to go too hard down this road is because employers are not going to give money to people without some control over them. Our hearts agree the employer can only care about performance on the job. But then, WHAT performance? Do they deserve you at your best? Can they make rules to give you a bonus of you work out on your own time in the hope a fit worker is a better worker? If so, let's turn it around, can they give you a bonus each week if you don't use drugs (In the hope a clean worker is a better worker)? They won't even need to take any piss or blood, they just look to the workstation and find a rogue hair for testing. (Or, again, the camera AI looking for non-task "work".) Here's an article on the problem of AI supervision when employees work from home (https://venturebeat.com/2020/07/18/work-at-home-ai-surveillance-is-a-move-in-the-wrong-direction/), they'll have, at least, the same level of tech at the office.

Let's make the fight for privacy and away from drug use.
 

invertedisdead

Weapons of VAS Destruction
I actually did get caught surfing the net consistently for non-work things and I was told to stop it.....

LOL I used to work at Apple and even they told me to get off the computer :rofl:

IMO Cannabis in the workplace is sort of normalized now, at least in California - whether the employers like it or not, because everyone is clicking on a wax pen when the boss isn’t looking. MAYBE the Doctor isn’t, but it wouldn’t surprise me either.
 
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His_Highness

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king
If I remember correctly....General Electric used to lay off anyone who was in the bottom 10% of the department's review each year. If everyone in the department was top notch....didn't matter. If you were in the bottom 10% .. out you go. This kept the employees working at their peak and also kept the employee base fresh. It also meant the company only kept the best of the best. You would think potential employees would steer clear of GE but it was the opposite....back then. GE's success caused this approach to be adopted by other companies including a few I worked for.

Back then career, money and upward mobility was job 1 for me and I didn't think anything was wrong with GE. I was on the road Monday through Friday for 3 years straight earning my bones. Even when I wasn't travelling I was the first in and last out of the office and weekends were spent teaching myself new technologies. My kids grew up without me and I will forever regret that.

I've heard some of my fellow "boomers" call the generations that came after us "snowflakes", entitled, etc. In some cases I might agree coming from my background but I do notice that many of those that came after us aren't neglecting their families, kids and themselves the way I/we did. Good for them. Maybe they'll be the thing that eliminates the reason for the debate we're having. Seems like the ball is in their court right now.
 

HealthyRippingBrian

Active Member
It's cool to see Amazon pave the way cause I'm from Canada and even before legalization I never had a problem getting a position working at condo buildings, call centers, tow truck company, various stores, then when I went down to Florida it obviously became an issue.

But what was really unfair was I was testing positive for marijuana about 3 months after I stopped smoking, and still was getting denied jobs. I don't know what tokers do down in USA, as I was at a complete stand still because I had smoked 3 months prior haha.

Finally got a job in some factory, saved a bit, and came back to Canada.
 

His_Highness

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king
It's cool to see Amazon pave the way cause I'm from Canada and even before legalization I never had a problem getting a position working at condo buildings, call centers, tow truck company, various stores, then when I went down to Florida it obviously became an issue.

But what was really unfair was I was testing positive for marijuana about 3 months after I stopped smoking, and still was getting denied jobs. I don't know what tokers do down in USA, as I was at a complete stand still because I had smoked 3 months prior haha.

Finally got a job in some factory, saved a bit, and came back to Canada.
Was this a follicle test or a urine test?

I never failed a urinalysis drug test or a lie detector test and used cannabis a week before each urine test.

I learned some things from a pharmacist friend of mine about the urine test. I've come up inconclusive on both a urinalysis and a lie detector test and then passed the urinalysis the second time. Most times I passed it the first go round. The lie detector tests were only given once even though I came up inconclusive. For me....Passing a urine test is mostly about over hydrating and beating the lie detector was all about over caffeinating. During the lie detector tests I've been asked if I had used any drugs to beat the test and I've thought to myself "yes, I used caffeine pills" but said "no".... the test requires a reaction to the lie but when you're over caffeinated everything causes a reaction.

I would have come up dirty on a urine test if a urine test can pick it up after 3 months because I would have thought I didn't need to worry. I've never had a follicle test but my understanding is they can't be beat.
 
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