Amazon’s looser stance on employee marijuana use now covers people who were previously fired. The online retailer said it had restored job suitability for workers and applicants fired or dismissed from unregulated roles (i.e. not truck driving or similar jobs) after cannabis investigations. The company did not promise to reappoint or recently compensate workers who were recently laid off, but it could be useful for those still looking for work.
The decision, as before, comes down to a combination of fairness and practical reality. Candidates for the study of marijuana affect “disproportionately” people of color, Amazon said. It also noted that different state levels of legal cannabis use make it more difficult to run a consistent and equitable drug testing program in the US. Amazon was also honest about the constant need for more workers – by dropping marijuana tests, it could ‘expand’ [the] applicant coil. “
The move comes on top of recent political efforts, including lobbying for and otherwise supporting bills reforming the federal approach to marijuana. For example, the Re-Investment and Emission of Marijuana Opportunity Act of 2021 (also known as the MORE Act) would remove criminal records.
These measures are not guaranteed to become law. However, Amazon’s overall strategy is clear – it’s determined to raise rents, and it bets that mere corporate influence could persuade lawmakers to open the door to more recruits.
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