This week Amazon revealed in a blog post that it is backing federal legislation of marijuana as well as changing its drug testing policy.
According to the blog post written by Amazon consumer boss Dave Clark, the company will no longer screen some workers for cannabis and will adjust its system that measures worker productivity.
Clark wrote that the company is in support of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, also known as the More Act, which was reintroduced in the House late last month.
The MORE Act would decriminalize cannabis at the federal level, expunge criminal records and invest in impacted communities.
“We hope that other employers will join us, and that policymakers will act swiftly to pass this law,” Clark wrote.
Clark also revealed in the post that Amazon will no longer include marijuana in its drug screening program for any positions not regulated by the Department of Transportation.
“In the past, like many employers, we’ve disqualified people from working at Amazon if they tested positive for marijuana use,” Clark explained. “However, given where state laws are moving across the U.S., we’ve changed course.”
He continued, “We will no longer include marijuana in our comprehensive drug screening program for any positions not regulated by the Department of Transportation, and will instead treat it the same as alcohol use. We will continue to do impairment checks on the job and will test for all drugs and alcohol after any incident.”
“And because we know that this issue is bigger than Amazon, our public policy team will be actively supporting The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2021 (MORE Act)—federal legislation that would legalize marijuana at the federal level, expunge criminal records, and invest in impacted communities. We hope that other employers will join us, and that policymakers will act swiftly to pass this law.”
Clark also revealed that the company is changing its system that measures worker productivity, known as “time off task.”
Amazon tracks productivity rates among its warehouse workers, logging the number of packages they pick, pack and stow each hour. If an Amazon worker takes a break from scanning packages for too long, its internal systems will log it as a time off task and generate a warning, which can later lead to firings.
The measurement system was “only secondarily to identify under-performing employees,” Clark said. He wrote however that Amazon will measure time off tasks over a longer time period. “We believe this change will help ensure the Time off Task policy is used in the way it was intended.”