Amazon Halts Cannabis Testing For Some Employees

Amazon is endorsing federal legislation to legalize marijuana and has pledged not to test some of its employees for the substance.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Amazon’s consumer boss Dave Clark said that the business supports the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, which was reintroduced in the House late last month. The MORE Act would decriminalize cannabis on a federal level, cleanse criminal records, and invest in communities affected by the drug.

Clark added, “We hope that more businesses will join us, and that lawmakers will act quickly to pass this law.”

Amazon has announced that it would change its corporate drug testing policy for some of its employees. According to Clark, marijuana will no longer be included in the company’s drug testing policy for any positions not controlled by the Department of Transportation.

“In the past, we’ve rejected people from working at Amazon if they tested positive for marijuana usage, just like many other employers,” Clark said. “However, given the direction state laws are go in the United States, we’ve reversed course.”

Additional Changes

Amazon is also revamping its approach for measuring worker productivity, known as “time off task,” according to Clark.

Amazon keeps track of warehouse workers’ productivity by tracking the number of parcels they pick, pack, and stow each hour. If employees take too long off from scanning parcels, Amazon’s internal systems will register it as a time off task and issue a warning, which might lead to termination.

The measurement system was created to uncover problems with employees’ tools, and it was only “secondarily” successful.

According to Clark, Amazon will begin measuring time off jobs over a longer period of time starting today. “We feel that by making this modification, we will be able to ensure that the Time off Task policy is used as intended,” he added.

Employees and labor advocacy groups have previously criticized Amazon’s time off task policy, claiming that it makes working conditions more difficult and that it is used to monitor employees. These organizations have also claimed that Amazon’s rigorous pace of work contributes to increased employee injury rates.

Outgoing CEO Jeff Bezos claimed in his final letter to shareholders in April that Amazon’s performance goals aren’t excessive. He did admit, though, that Amazon requires a “better vision for employee success” and promised to make the firm “Earth’s Best Employer and Earth’s Safest Place to Work.”