The change will apply to the majority of occupations, according to the hospital’s system.
Grand Rapids, Michigan — Spectrum Health, one of the major employers in western Michigan, no longer screens new hires for marijuana. However, this only applies to most positions.
In a statement to 13 ON YOUR SIDE, a hospital system spokesperson said:
“To reduce barriers to employment, and because recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan, the BHSH system no longer includes THC or marijuana in pre-employment drug screening. Our patients and community members You can be confident that we are complying with applicable laws establishing drug-free workplace requirements, and taking all necessary steps to establish a safe care environment.”
Michigan legalized recreational marijuana use about four years ago.
“It may also reflect changing attitudes toward marijuana in general,” said Mark Dotson, a professor at Western Michigan University’s Thomas M. Cooley School of Law.
Marijuana is legal, Dotson said, but that doesn’t mean all businesses in the state must stop drug testing their employees.
“Therefore, there are many different reasons why employers prohibit certain activities or discourage certain activities among their employees,” he says.
Dotson says one of the reasons companies conduct drug tests is to protect themselves from liability.
“Employers have to create a safe environment for their customers as well as their employees, and they don’t necessarily know if there’s a problem until they’re sued,” he says.
Dotson hopes that the safe environment at Spectrum Health hospitals will never be compromised if an employee or patient is injured on the job.
“Failure to continue drug testing, discourage marijuana use, and not hire anyone who knows they are using marijuana is believed to be used against them in such circumstances. “It would be better,” he says.
In this tight labor market, Dotson isn’t surprised by Spectrum’s move.
“It’s a serious problem for employers these days if they’re going to get rid of people who smoke marijuana,” he says.
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