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Here on the blog, we aim to help professionals and business owners better understand the value of background screening. Many people consider background screening as a mere formality, but when you step outside of your organization, you can really realize the magnitude of how important it is to perform employment screening on potential hires.  Ensuring your workforce is who they say they are, and operating with a clean and healthy mind is paramount to continuing to grow your business and manage a professional reputation. 

Drug testing your employees is sometimes a choice, but sometimes there are legal repercussions and compliance in place if an individual fails a drug test. Many organizations around the country choose not to drug test randomly, but the federal decriminalization of marijuana has provided many questions about what can or can’t be tested for. 

Today on the blog we wanted to touch on a recent story about how leaked documents have alleged that the FDNY will no longer randomly drug test. 

Here’s the scoop… 

According to the above memo from the Uniformed Firefighters Association (UFA), a leak of a confidential document outlining reforms is legit, and within two weeks new guidelines will be made public.

FDNY Bureau of Operations followed up with their own memo to validate the reality of the reform to random drug testing. 

Read More: NY Daily News

So, what does this mean?

According to a tweet from the FDNY, the way they look at marijuana on the job is similar to the way they have always treated alcohol. If an employee is evidently abusing marijuana on the job, this will still provide them with reasonable suspicion to drug test.

Understanding the risks involved with being high on the job while being a firefighter are quite simple to comprehend, if you applied the same logic to your own industry, would you agree with this decision? How would you like it if an employee was smoking pot while on the job? Would being high at work affect their performance? Would it increase the likelihood of an accident? It may be easy to realize that a firefighter should not be high at work, but it may not be as obvious when looking at your company or industry. Either way, regardless of where you stand on marijuana, we can all agree that an employee that has no substances in their system is less likely to make a mistake, steal, or hurt your business than an employee who is clean and sober.

Read More: 10 Common Misconceptions about Marijuana in the Workplace

Oh the Times They Are A-Changin’

Marijuana, despite federal decriminalization and a continuous softening attitude around the once illegal substance, is still a risk. There are many questions surrounding if an employer can test for marijuana, and ultimately it all depends on where you are. Until all states are playing in the same ballpark with respect to the law on marijuana, it’s best to ask your background check provider what the best course of action is for testing employees for marijuana. 

Expect to See More Change Nationally

Based on events like these, we can assume that the attitude around marijuana will continue to soften around the country. Other states in the Northeast that are slowly making pot legal will all eventually need to adjust their drug testing laws, and it’s important for a business owner to be aware of these changes. We work with companies all over the country to provide drug testing and verification services. 

If you ever have any questions surrounding your employment screening process, please don’t hesitate to reach out via our contact form, or just give us a call! We are happy to help you better understand what you could be doing to make smarter hiring decisions!