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Thread: Do you guys test for substances in your employees? (talking about weed obviously)

  1. #1
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    Do you guys test for substances in your employees? (talking about weed obviously)

    I'm talking about the USA. I don't care about you canucks. Some states offers legal recreational use weed. Still others don't have a recreational use law but have provisions for medical. If you're a company owner, do you test your employees? Why or why not? If you're a worker, are you tested? And how do you feel about it.

    I've worked for 2 small residential outfits, and neither of them did any sort of pee test. Personally, I don't care what people do as long as they are sober at work. And frankly, weed testing is NOT short term so you can't even tell if your worker is high NOW or was high 4 days ago at the block party saturday night.

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    We test.
    Gives us a huge discount on workers comp.
    Plus if your hurt on a job site, you have to be able to pass a screening to be eligible for workers comp.

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    Do you test for weed? (Is weed legal where you are?) In illinois there has been a lot of issues because they legalized this year but people were angry some places would test for thc. Alcohol is legal too, and no one asks me to piss in a cup for alcohol.... JB added a law, forgot what the name is but basically it says employers cant discipline you for what you do in your off hours as long as youre following the law (as it should be, its nunya business what i do in my home)

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    I think you will find that many companies medium size to larger test. They may only test when first employed. Some companies may test if an accident is reported. I don't think regular spot testing is common.

    A lot of companies like to say their employees have been background searched and drug tested.
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    I had an employer years ago asked if i would pass the test I said probably not, they tested someone else!

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    Quote Originally Posted by YOUNG FROSTY View Post
    Do you test for weed? (Is weed legal where you are?) In illinois there has been a lot of issues because they legalized this year but people were angry some places would test for thc. Alcohol is legal too, and no one asks me to piss in a cup for alcohol.... JB added a law, forgot what the name is but basically it says employers cant discipline you for what you do in your off hours as long as youre following the law (as it should be, its nunya business what i do in my home)
    Right and wrong at the same time.

    You are right I really don't care what my employees did (no longer have employees) when they were off the clock, it was their time to relax and enjoy life. All is good, right.

    Now Mr Frosty, let's say you have a helper that likes to go out and get hammered every night only gets a few hours of sleep and comes to work worthless. You need his help and you end up doing most of the job yourself because he is in no shape to do much of anything. Now is it your business what he does in his own home? Matter of fact let's change that, he is staying away from any mind altering endeavors but is flipping houses so he is working from the time he gets off work till 4 AM, grabs a couple hours of sleep, gets into work right on the dot or maybe a few minutes late, but again he is worthless from working all night. Is that any of your business? Are you not suffering from his extra curricular activities? What are you going to say when the boss asks why these jobs aren't getting done?

    See, it doesn't matter what the activity is it can have consequences at work. Would you rather have the boss doing his due diligence on the helpers he hires for you or let you deal with it?

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    I'm not talking about suffering workplace perfomrance. In my years of working, in jobs even outside HVAC I have watched top performers and amazing employees being escorted out the building over a dirty piss test. Finding good managers who know how to bring a team together is hard enough as it is, I never understood why they walked him out over dirty piss. This includes myself. I used to work for caterpillar and was always posting good metrics, but I knew at any time a random test could come up and that would be my termination. If the employee's work performance is suffering, then sure it becomes your business. But I think you would be surprised at how many people in america would piss dirty right now who are holding otherwise respectable/high performance jobs. With the younger generations having less interest in the trades than say, 30 years ago, I think it would be wise to start removing THC from drug panels to prevent dismissing otherwise good talent from your business. If someone is performing badly on the clock, then discipline accordingly. I'm talking about people that don't stir shit, people that get the job done, and still get walked out because of some bullshit outdated (factually incorrect) ideals

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    My father -in - law worked union construction his whole life, built bridges, power plants and even worked a few nukes. At one of the nuke jobs they had a little bakery just down the road from the plant. As they got into the rework/upgrades in the plant they started noticing a lot of positive tests. They dug into it and found the guys were getting poppy seed rolls/danish from the bakery on their way in. So they had to revamp their test so it would pick up opioid use but not the poppy which is what opioids are made form. The point is not if they test positive or not, but could they be impaired. You can work impaired to a point and in some cases being slightly impaired can improve the workmanship as it takes an edge off. That's fine but you are running a fine line then between good work and making an error. The error is bad enough but if someone gets hurt off it that is a gift that just keeps on giving. That is what they want to avoid. No, that is what they have to avoid. If society was not so sue happy maybe it would not be an issue, but that is not where we are is it.

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    In my union apprentices are tested randomly, if positive they are sanctioned or terminated from the program, journeymen are tested before being hired by the hall or like in my case by employer, if we get layoff more than two weeks we are tested, accidents tested, we had stoners walk away from the job interview many times.
    There is not better place for the working men than the union! 100% UA the only HVAC union!

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    Officially, Down for the count

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    Used to work with a guy who would forget stuff all the time. Or only do 85% of the job. Got caught on video kicking the crap out of a unit one time. I told him if he quit smoking the dope, he could go a lot further in the trade.

    He replied, I need to smoke it, I have ADD.

    I replied, if you weren't such a stoner, you wouldn't have ADD.
    I do a triple evac with nitro to remove non condensables.

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    I get tested monthly. Male nurse at our company clinic here on sight will watch you pull your junk out and make sure your pissing in the cup. The cup is instantaneous, bunch of strips built into it.

    The company does it for two reasons:
    1) Pre-employment screens and randoms are required by our largest customer, the Federal Government
    2) The companies policies requires monthly of all employees (to avoid favoritism, to avoid legal issues, etc.)
    I know what is required of me by the man who pays my pay check and I make a decision in my personal life to keep my job over popping a pill or smoking weed.

    There are priorities in life, if pot comes first before ones interest in employment, then I would say smoke pot and find a job that doesn't care an employee smokes pot.

    We live in a sue happy generation, everyone is suing over everything. The HVAC trade, in most cases can be classified as a dangerous occupation. We may be dealing with busy construction sites, working at heights, confined spaces, electricity, pressurized gas, flammable gas, power tools, and many drive company vehicles to and from job sites and to and from home. If anything was to happen that could be contributed to an employee being under the influence, whether drugs or alcohol, then the employer can easily be sued or be fully liable, not just for others damages but for that dumb-ass employee, too. So many companies are really trying to figure out the legal game of drug testing, based on the state, there is a lot of things an employer can and can not do, but in the end the employer will do what they can to mitigate the chance that an employee's ABUSE of alcohol or drugs, does not come back and bite them.

    I think the key is for those who MUST smoke pot for recreational purposes, should weigh what is more important currently in their lives, pot or the job. Companies have more to lose than a good employee.

    Quick story. I was a dispatcher for a local drayage/freight company. We had an employee who needed to move one weekend and was afraid to ask if he could borrow one of our 24ft bobtails. He snuck the keys and on Saturday night came to the yard and grabbed a truck. That evening he had a few beers with some friends loading that truck. Enroute to his new apartment he pulled out in front of a family of five returning from the airport. The wife and two kids were killed or died later. In a nutshell, the owner of our company was held fully reliable for EVERYTHING. The fact the driver had access to the keys, we did not lock the keys up and check them before closing up, no gate around the yard, and to top it all off they won even more money, since their attorney was able to find witnesses (terminated or past drivers) that stated that they knew this driver of ours came to work smelling like alcohol on occasions and that they reported it and nothing was done? Though this driver never had an alcohol violation and passed every state random test, just the fact that our company had a "VAGUE" written policy concerning it stand on alcohol and drugs, and how it will handle complaints, and write-up employees and keep those write-ups, etc....this cost the company dearly. The company was demonized in court, a good man, a good employer, and a great friend lost everything he had built, saved, and owned. Not only I was out of a job, but so were forty seven others. He since started another company, but his empire that he originally built is just a shadow of itself.

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    all company vehicles are required to have the drug and alcohol testing paperwork in them...you automatically have to take it when involved in an on site/vehicle accident...you cannot report back in for work unless you have proof it was done under 12 hours..

    when i was younger i worked for a company that just started drug testing...I had my supervisor at the time hated me because i would correct him in front of others...but that was my job to correct job and inventory mistakes and i always showed up, no sick days ever taken, ideal employee......only my supervisor had this personal issue with me..

    i told my co workers that ill bet , i will be sent out for one..i also told them that i will put in my 2 weeks notice immediately afterward...BTW, i only did my drinking on the weekends friday and saturday nights, a social thing...no hangovers ever on a monday..

    Now come wednesday morning...i find the paperwork on my desk with a note to go immediately for testing...lol...nice eh! i showed my co workers and said. "well it was good knowing ya!" I went to HR first and put my 2 weeks in. they said why? i showed them what i just received with the note...They said they hear the rumor i would do that and the supervisor is an ass for doing it....it was unwarranted and other employees who were troublesome got it..none of management got one but i know 3 that should have, the company was buring through cash hard due to their mistakes..

    suffice it to say, management saw i was found clean, they apologized, offer me a whopping .50 more an hour to stay, i countered and told them a $5.00 per hour increase in pay will make it worth my while to stay, i did find another job paying $4.00 more an hour a week later $18.00 an hour is not bad(back then)...i learned 6 months later they filed for bankruptcy protection, another year later they went under..
    Last edited by Unlimited1; 11-17-2020 at 12:35 PM.

  20. #14
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    Do you guys test for substances in your employees? (talking about weed obviously)

    Im in Illinois, 597 fitters do random drug tests, and many locations (end users) require their own drug tests at random times, and prior to first visit.

    Most companies outside of the union did random drug testing also.

    Just cause something is legal, does not mean it wont impair performance.

    Particularly pot, slows down reaction timing. Which is a huge hazard in and of itself.


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  22. #15
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    I’ve tested most of them at some point in my life
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  24. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by YOUNG FROSTY View Post
    I'm talking about the USA. I don't care about you canucks. Some states offers legal recreational use weed. Still others don't have a recreational use law but have provisions for medical. If you're a company owner, do you test your employees? Why or why not? If you're a worker, are you tested? And how do you feel about it.

    I've worked for 2 small residential outfits, and neither of them did any sort of pee test. Personally, I don't care what people do as long as they are sober at work. And frankly, weed testing is NOT short term so you can't even tell if your worker is high NOW or was high 4 days ago at the block party saturday night.



    You obviously don't personally know the effects of weed. Today that's a bit odd. Not saying it's bad, just odd.
    Yes it can be detected for a long time in normal tests and even longer in hair tests but that doesn't mean there is an actual tested effect on performance. I would be much more concerned about someone coming off crazy meth and the effects of alcohol can be long. 12 hours I'm told.
    A person that even smokes all day won't appear or perform as if stoned. I've know several that do. It's kind of like acclimating to the effect. An initial short term buzz of maybe half hour then seemingly normal.
    Pot is the least thing to concern with compared to meth or alcohol. Heroin is interesting because an addict can adjust to a maintenance dose and function normally. Methadone is similar.
    I would rather work with someone on pot than most any other rec drug.

    But to the question: The SM Union has zero tolerance for any rec drugs. Your Fired. Those on med pot might need to find another job doing something less risky than construction. There are enough anti-drug officers in this local that won't change and the industry insurance companies are the same. This Union follows the Fed guidelines of pot being schedule one.
    This tough love approach is the insurance companies policies. I once got cut badly and while on the way to a clinic was radioed to get a drug test first.
    $crew you. I ignored the Command. That company put insurance policy first and the insurance industry wants a reason to not cover it.
    There is no guarantied way the a rec drug will not affect performance when active. Many prescription drugs also have awful side effects.
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    Client told me a story, one day the warehouse reeked like dope, the smell was coming from the duct work connected to MAU on the roof, they sent the facility manager to investigate, he found a makeshift cardboard tent by the MAU air intake and hobo living inside getting baked, the guy came as a part of a roofing crew couple of days before and never left.
    There is not better place for the working men than the union! 100% UA the only HVAC union!

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  27. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by pageyjim View Post
    A lot of companies like to say their employees have been background searched and drug tested.
    Doesn’t always mean they “passed”


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  29. #19
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    The last company I worked for, one of the owners would buy pain killers from one of the techs. I found him passed out in his truck in front of customers houses while writing estimates. Both the installers smoked weed like cigarettes.

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    So just like with anything there's a range of what's acceptable and what's not. Someone can get boozed up on friday night and be stone cold sober monday morning. It's been happening for decades. Same thing with weed, get high around the bonfire friday night, have a fresh mind monday morning. It's because of morons that go off the deep end (like these installers) that make it so everyone else gets ****ed by the rules. Making weed illegal was stupid in the first place. It's nowhere near as bad as any of the other schedule 1 drugs. Between heroin and weed, which of these is responsible for more societal issues and disasters? What about meth? Some people close their eyes and yell loudly so they don't have to reckon with reality. Unfortunately a lot of those people are lawmakers

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