Lawmakers in the U.S. Territory have voted to make a significant shift in policy regarding their stance on pre-employment marijuana testing for most government jobs. Taking a progressive step, the legislation approves the end of marijuana testing for certain government positions, opening up many more job opportunities for local residents. The goal is to remove an old barrier of prejudice and embrace new trends, putting importance in the qualifications of the applicants.
1. Lawmakers Pioneer Sweeping Change for Government Pre-Employment Testing
Lawmakers have stepped up their efforts to make sweeping change in the way government pre-employment tests are being conducted. Previously, outdated methods of testing, such as timed written assessments and multiple choice exams, have been used to assess the skills of those wishing to join the public sector.
This lack of innovation has meant many potential candidates have been unfairly judged and excluded. To ease this, lawmakers are pioneering the use of more appropriate and modern methods of testing, such as gamified assessments. These activities will increase the complexity and depth by providing potential candidates with a range of real-world scenarios to test the practicality of their abilities and how they respond under pressure. Here are some examples of what could be included:
- Involvement in collaborative tasks with foreign governments
- Communicating effectively and calmly in chaotic situations
- Navigating through complex legislative procedures
- Ability to comprehend unfamiliar material
The implementation of gamified assessments will open up the government to a broader range of people who possess the skills, but were unable to manifest them due to the need for more adapted forms of testing.
2. U.S. Territory Votes To Eliminate Marijuana Screening in Most Sectors
U.S. territory Guam has voted overwhelmingly in favor of reinstating a bill which eliminates marijuana screening for many sectors, except for jobs deemed as ‘safety-sensitive.’
The decriminalization of the drug has been a long-awaited decision, and the bill has finally found the support it needs. The law looks to decriminalize, and in certain cases eliminate altogether, the screening of marijuana for the majority of job positions in the area.
The law includes various exemptions for those applying for ‘jobs that involve public safety.’ This includes emergency service personnel, such as police officers, fire fighters and health care professions. Those applying for these roles can still expect to be tested for marijuana in their pre-employment screenings, and failure to pass will result in any application being automatically rejected.
Employers may also be allowed to opt out of marijuana screening for other roles, as long as they adhere to a strict screening program in its place. This includes mandatory drug and alcohol testing, as well as random screenings throughout employment.
3. Employers Adapt as Cannabis Testing Policies Adapt To New Legal Standards
As cannabis has become more commonly used for both medical and recreational purposes across a growing number of regions, employers have been faced with decisions about how to handle the increasing issue of drug testing in the workplace. For many employers, creating a policy that satisfies both the legal standards of cannabis laws and the safety of the workplace has proven to be a challenge, but not an insurmountable one.
The implementation of workplace testing policies can take many forms, depending on the legal requirements of the region and the types of roles within the organization. One of the main considerations for employers is whether to conduct initial and/or random drug tests and, if so, whether to use urine, saliva, or hair tests. Organizations must also determine their own testing thresholds, decide what substances to test for, and ensure compliance with other relevant laws and regulations. Additionally, employers often have to decide whether to make accommodations for medicinal users and/or employees in recovery.
- Initial Testing: Drug tests may be conducted when a job offer is made, to ensure the applicant is not under the influence.
- Random Testing: Periodic testing may be used to identify impaired employees in the workplace.
- Testing Thresholds: Employers must decide the acceptable levels of substances in an employee’s bodily fluids.
- Accommodations: Special considerations can be made for employees who are taking cannabis for medical use or in recovery.
4. How The New Rule May Impact Hiring and Working in the Territories
The new rule on hiring and working in the territories is sure to have an impact. Here are just a few potential implications of the new regulations:
- Increased job opportunities: By implementing a more efficient hiring process, the new rule opens the door for more job seekers to find potential employment in the territories.
- Enhanced pay: By making it easier for employers to hire workers, wages and salaries should increase as demand rises.
- Improved efficiency: The new rule will streamline the hiring process, making it easier and faster for employers to find qualified workers to fill their jobs.
Beyond the implications for employers and employees, the new rule will also benefit the territories’ local economies. It will bring new jobs and capital into the territories, giving the region a much-needed boost. This could lead to an increase in the tax and other revenues to the regional government , which can be spent to benefit its citizens.
With this historic vote, the island territory set a precedent for other governments across the nation, as pre-employment marijuana testing for most government jobs no longer holds sway. By ushering in this landmark law, a pathway to true equality and fairness in the job selection process has been created, asserting the right of those in power to correct the wrongs of the past.