Amazon will no longer test most job applicants for marijuana


FILE – This April 21, 2020 file photo shows Amazon tractor trailers line up outside the Amazon Fulfillment Center in the Staten Island borough of New York. Amazon said Wednesday, June 2, 2021, that it will hold its annual Prime Day over two days in June this year, the earliest it has ever held the sales event. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

(CBS News)–Amazon is no longer screening most job candidates for marijuana use, the company announced this week. Instead, it will treat cannabis use the same as alcohol.

“In the past, like many employers, we’ve disqualified people from working at Amazon if they tested positive for marijuana use,” Dave Clark, CEO, Worldwide Consumer, said in a blog post on Tuesday. “However, given where state laws are moving across the U.S., we’ve changed course.”

Amazon has offices in a handful of states and has fulfillment centers in nearly all 50 states. Marijuana is legal in 16 states and Washington, D.C. and medical marijuana is legal in 36 states.

The company will no longer include marijuana in its comprehensive drug screening program for positions that are not regulated by the Department of Transportation. The company will continue to do impairment checks on the job and will test for all drugs and alcohol after any incident.

Amazon’s public policy team will also support The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021, also known as the MORE Act. The federal legislation would legalize marijuana at the federal level, expunge criminal records, and invest in impacted communities, the blog post reads. 

Amazon also announced a change to its “Time off Task” system, which measures the amount of time employees are logged onto the software tools they use for work.

The tool shows if an employee is logged off for a long period of time – which Clark said is primarily used to find system defects, though it also identifies under-performing employees as a goal “only secondarily.”

Now, Time off Task will average time off over a longer period of time. “The goal is to re-focus the conversations on instances where there are likely true operational issues to resolve,” the blog post reads. “We believe this change will help ensure the Time off Task policy is used in the way it was intended.” 

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