Seems like looking for a job may not be up in smoke after all. According to recent news, AutoNation Inc. has changed it views on people who test positive for marijuana and believe smokers are hire-able after all.
The largest U.S. auto-dealer chain has lightened up on lighting up. AutoNation Inc. no longer refuses to hire job applicants who test positive for marijuana in drug screenings, Chief Executive Officer Mike Jackson said in an interview. The shift, which Jackson said was made quietly two years ago, shows that corporate America’s hiring practices are evolving along with pot’s legal status.
“If you tested positive for marijuana, you couldn’t join our company,” said Jackson, 68. “At a certain point, we said, ‘You know what? That’s wrong.
AutoNation will still bar anyone who tests positive for other illegal drugs, including cocaine, Jackson said. The Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based company, which is largely controlled by Bill Gates’s Cascade Investment LLC and hedge fund billionaire Edward Lampert, employs 26,000 people.
AutoNation may represent the first wave of a coming trend as marijuana becomes more socially acceptable and companies vie for workers in the tightest labor market in 17 years. A Gallup poll in October found that 64 percent of Americans are in favor of legalization, the most since the firm started asking the question in 1969, when only 12 percent supported it.
Companies recognize that they don’t screen for alcohol,” said John Challenger, co-founder of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a Chicago-based employment firm. “So why would they do it for pot? As the war for talent grows and gets fiercer, it makes no sense to rule out a whole segment of candidates on something that just is no longer relevant.”