Good news if you've been super paranoid about losing your job to a marijuana-positive drug test: It's getting less and less likely an employer will fire you or refuse to hire you for partaking in cannabis consumption.
The Washington Post reports that the spread of legalization in the U.S. (only three states don't have any form of legalized weed) and a competitive market for hiring is prompting some companies to either do away with drug testing for cannabis, or just ignore a positive test when a job candidate they want gets dinged for pot use. Twenty-three states in the U.S. and Washington D.C. offer recreational marijuana and a small number of them, including California and New York, protect the rights of workers to get high while not on company time.
The Post quotes Kathryn Russo—a principal at the law firm Jackson Lewis, which specializes in representing employees—as saying they’ve seen a shifting trend on employer hiring. Desperation to get the best candidates is making drug testing seem less important. "It's frustrating for them when they find someone they really like, that person tests positive for marijuana, and they have to start over."
Quest Diagnostics, which you probably have used if you've ever taken an employer-mandated drug test, says it has definitely noticed some employers ditching tests for THC. The exception may be in areas such as warehouse jobs or other jobs involving heavy machinery where impaired motor skills could create safety issues in the workplace.
But, as experts point out, a positive test doesn't mean a person is high, since pot can be detectable in a person's system long after the effect has worn off.
Those quoted in the story suggest talking to a prospective employer and being candid if you're sure you'll fail a marijuana drug test; increasingly, that may not matter if they really want to hire you.