Psychology

Is it time to do away with job applicant drug testing?

Drug-war passions are fading … in that shifting social context, companies and public employers, including the military, might want to take a second look at whether pre-employment drug testing actually does the job it was designed to do.

It’s possible, though far from certain, that hiring applicants who test positive for opioids is riskier than hiring those who test positive for other illicit drugs. Most people who take prescription opioids actually have prescriptions for them, and (possible legal problems under the Americans With Disabilities Act aside) it’s ethically dubious to screen out people on the basis of the medicines they have to take. Moreover, the standard panel covers heroin but not the fentanyls, and the last thing you want to do is incentivize workers to switch from prescription opioids or even street heroin to fentanyl to be able to find jobs … even employers who want to keep pre-employment drug testing for other drugs might consider no longer screening for cannabis, which currently accounts for about half of all positive test results. Some firms, especially where cannabis is now legal under state law, have already decided to leave cannabis out of their screening programs.

Original Article (Vox):
Is it time to do away with job applicant drug testing?
Artwork Fair Use: ProjectManhattan

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