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10-12 percent of employees in the U.S. were regular drug users in 2015 — with the rising popularity of marijuana, and the continued opioid crisis, how are employers supposed to combat the drug epidemic in order to maintain a safe workplace?  Approximately $10 billion per year is lost to employers because of the opioid crisis – absenteeism and presenteeism (working while not fully functional) are the lead areas of loss for employers.  Drug abuse on the job not only loses employers money in terms of employees coming to work and putting their best foot forward, but impaired employees can also cause injuries, traffic accidents, or harm other employees, further costing the employer money.

With the rising popularity of marijuana, employers are now facing an additional hurdle – finding employees who are capable of passing a pre-employment drug test.  While many states have put protections for employers who maintain a drug-free workplace in their recreational and/or medical marijuana laws, recent court rulings in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island are challenging the protections that employers generally enjoy.  Marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, meaning industries that are subject to federal regulations must strictly enforce a drug-free workplace, no matter court rulings.  Employers should maintain an up-to-date written drug and alcohol testing policy, train their supervisors as to the signs and hazards of working while impaired, and take action when an employee is suspected to be impaired and/or makes you aware of a drug prescription/issue.

Are you up-to-date on your drug and alcohol testing policy, or are you unsure of the implications of marijuana in your state?  The experts at the Current Consulting Group, LLC (CCG) are happy to help.  Contact us at or 215.240.8204 to get in touch with our knowledgeable and professional staff.

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