Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Caesars Entertainment Corp. will stop drug testing job applicants for marijuana use as a condition of employment since the state of Nevada has legalized the recreational use of marijuana and screening for that drug would be “counterproductive,” according to a story from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The Review-Journal reports that a spokesman for Caesars “said the need for good workers coupled with the state’s recent legalization of recreational marijuana use has ended pre-employment testing for pot” and that the company “felt that pre-screening for marijuana was on the whole, counterproductive.”

Rich Broome, the executive vice president of corporate communications and community affairs for Caesars Entertainment, told the Review-Journal that a “number of states have changed their laws and we felt we might be missing some good candidates because of the marijuana issue.”

Broome also said some driving jobs require a drug test for marijuana under U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations so Caesars will still screen those jobs, the Review-Journal reports. Caesars will “seek the middle ground between making good hires while providing a safe and appropriate workplace.”

Thoran Towler, CEO of the Nevada Association of Employers, estimated approximately one-tenth of his group’s 400 members have stopped testing for marijuana. The article is at www.reviewjournal.com/business/casinos-gaming/caesars-no-longer-screening-job-applicants-for-marijuana-use/.

Nevada is one of nine states – along with Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington – that have legalized marijuana for recreational use and is one of 29 states that permit medical marijuana use. However, use of marijuana is still illegal under U.S. federal law.

In April 2017, ESR News reported that employers were questioning if they should stop drug testing for marijuana now that many states have legalized it for medicinal or recreational purposes and acceptance has spread, according to an article from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

The SHRM article explained that marijuana “remains illegal under federal law, and employers have the right to test for it, even in states where the substance is legal. Not only does federal law conflict with some states’ laws, but state laws also vary, sometimes significantly, challenging multistate employers.”

In December 2016, ESR News also reported that employers performing drug tests while having to deal with the growth of state laws allowing the medical and/or recreational use of marijuana was one of the ‘ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends’ for 2017 selected by Employment Screening Resources (ESR).

“The national trend towards legalization of marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes will be a critical workplace issue, especially given state conflicts with federal law and the uncertainties as to how the new Justice Department will approach the issue,” said ESR founder and CEO Attorney Lester Rosen.

Drug use by the American workforce has reached its highest level in more than a decade with a positivity rate at 4.2 percent in 2017, according to the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index Report. Marijuana positivity increased in the general U.S. workforce from 2.5 percent in 2016 to 2.6 percent in 2017.

Customized Drug Testing Solutions from ESR

Employment Screening Resources (ESR) believes any company that has a drug testing program should also have a drug testing policy.  ESR can provide a custom written drug testing policy that complies with current state and federal drug testing laws. To learn more, visit www.esrcheck.com/Background-Checks/Drug-Testing/.

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