“But I Only Used One Time, Thirty Days Ago”
When an employer hears the excuse, “I only used marijuana once thirty days ago” as a reason for failing a THC drug screen, it is a moment of opportunity to learn who your employee really is.
It seems the justification for failing a drug test is widely used for two types of situations. The first (and most common) being an individual who is attempting to lay a foundation to claim drug testing is unfair, get their results invalidated and the company’s drug testing policy changed. They may even be threatening a lawsuit.
Many employers feel intimidated and panic, backing down and giving in. This is unfortunate because the science – and precedent setting court decisions are largely on the side of the employer. This type of individual is likely a regular marijuana user who is putting company safety at risk. No matter how long they have been using marijuana, they do experience impairment. The wise choice is to enforce the company drug and alcohol testing policy consistently in spite of an employee’s effort to manipulate.
The second example of an employee who uses the “thirty days ago” defense would be the individual who has ceased using marijuana and is truly striving to respect the company policy. How does an employer differentiate between the two and make good decisions about consequences?
One solution lies in subsequent lab-based testing. The employee who is choosing to be compliant with the rules will likely be agreeable to a series of random tests over a period of several weeks or months that will eventually be THC free. In most cases, the manipulative employee who has no intention of ceasing their drug use will continue to bully and protest.
In an era of change pertaining to marijuana laws it is imperative that employers know their rights and understand how THC is measured in a drug test as well as what solutions may be available in order to retain valuable employees. An informed TPA will be able to offer supportive solutions for maintaining an effective safe and drug free workplace policy, that helps employers to feel confident in knowing their lab-based drug test results are accurate and reliable.
By Jo McGuire