Many “want ads” in Vermont note that prospective hires must pass a drug-screening test. Potential school bus drivers, air traffic controllers, postal workers and construction workers have long had to provide urine samples to prove they aren’t under the influence of substances that could impair their judgment.
But what happens when recreational marijuana becomes legal in Vermont on July 1? Although the new law does not require Vermont employers “to permit or accommodate” its use in the workplace, some businesses are considering their options — both for preemployment screening and overall personnel policies regarding marijuana.
“We’re just starting to hear from companies asking, ‘Can marijuana be backed out of the [testing] panel?'” said Kelly Casale, director of operations at Concentra in South Burlington, a clinic that charges employers about $93 to test for opioids, amphetamines, cocaine, PCP and marijuana.
Her answer is a qualified yes: Employers should first check with their attorneys about what, if any, testing is required under applicable law. The federal government requires drug screening for many positions, and that won’t change in