Is Amazon Putting Stoned Delivery Drivers Behind the Wheel?

Published on October 8, 2021, by Matthew Sharp

Car Accident

Is Amazon Putting Stoned Delivery Drivers Behind the Wheel?

Amazon is urging its delivery partners to include cannabis users in their pool of potential delivery drivers. The e-commerce giant believes this move would ease the severe shortfall of delivery drivers. Based on a communication examined by Bloomberg and interviews with four delivery partners, Amazon is directing its delivery partners to advertise that they don’t test applicants for marijuana use.

Calling Off Marijuana Screening

According to Amazon, dropping marijuana screening can increase job applications by as much as 400%. The company also says testing prospective drivers for marijuana reduces job applications by at least 30%. The e-commerce powerhouse, however, doesn’t explain how it arrived at these figures.

One delivery partner who heeded Amazon’s advice says marijuana was the main reason most job applicants failed drug screenings. Now that she’s only screening for drugs like amphetamines and opiates, more applicants are passing.

Dissatisfaction with Amazon’s Directive

Other delivery partners are going on with marijuana tests. These partners say they worry about the insurance and liability consequences in numerous states where pot use stays illegal. They also note that stopping drug screening might encourage some drivers to smoke pot before stepping behind the wheel.

Should a driver high on marijuana cause a serious accident, the liability for injuries suffered by the accident victim would lie on the delivery partner, not Amazon. In the event of a death, the family members of the accident victim can file a wrongful death claim against the responsible driver and/or the delivery company.

Curbing Post-Pandemic Labor Shortage

Employers across the U.S. are facing a potentially crippling post-pandemic labor shortfall. They are offering a plethora of recruiting incentives as hiring bonuses no longer seem to work. In August 2021, Target officially stated that it would offer college scholarships to its employees. In its bid to hire up to 10,000 employees, Applebee’s enticed applicants with free appetizers.

Amazon, which is actively campaigning for the legalization of marijuana, announced in June 2021 that it would no longer test would-be employees for the drug. Shortly after, the e-commerce heavyweight advised its delivery partners to jump on the bandwagon.

According to an Amazon Spokesperson, marijuana screening has delayed job growth by significantly affecting people of color. She also emphasized that Amazon has zero-tolerance for staff members working while impaired. She said that any employee that’s high at work and tests positive after an accident or because of justifiable suspicion would no longer qualify to work for the company.

More than 100 delivery business owners met in Las Vegas early last month to strategize on how to help their companies flourish. The main agenda for this meeting was hiring and recruiting delivery drivers. These business owners are striving to gain an edge in the competitive labor market, especially with the fast-approaching holiday shopping season.

Most drivers prefer to work for school bus companies over Amazon delivery companies. School bus drivers can earn over $20 an hour and can have time for dinner with family. Amazon drivers make $17 per hour and frequently work almost the entire night to meet the high demand.

One effective solution is to increase the hourly rates of Amazon delivery drivers. That can occur only if Amazon increases what delivery companies earn from the services they perform. That’s something the e-commerce giant may be reluctant to do.

Delivery Drivers Demand

The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that the hiring of delivery drivers will grow by five percent between 2019 and 2029. The agency also projects around 164,100 additional employment opportunities for delivery drivers per year.

Recovering Damages After a Crash Involving a Delivery Driver

A person injured in an accident caused by a delivery driver can claim compensation for the physical injury suffered and financial costs incurred. While no settlement amount can make the victim forget the traumatic experience he or she may have undergone, compensation can simplify life a bit. A car accident lawyer can review all the damages suffered by the injured party and determine the value of his or her injury claim.

Filing a Compensation Claim

The accident victim should take the right post-accident steps to increase the chances of recovering damages. If the person’s injuries do not require emergency medical treatment, the victim should start by documenting the scene in detail. He or she should write down the contact information of witnesses. The victim should see a doctor for medical assistance soon after the crash, even if injuries do not seem severe.

The victim’s car accident lawyer can guide him or her through filing a personal injury claim. The lawyer will review the circumstances of the case to help determine who is liable for the accident. An accident lawyer can also present the evidence to compel an auto insurance provider to compensate the accident victim for his or her losses.