Companies struggling to find workers because of failed drug tests

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LANSING, MI (WILX)-- A growing number of employers are having trouble filling available jobs because they say it is getting extremely difficult to find candidates who can pass a pre-employment drug screen.

Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen told Congress opioid abuse is having a negative effect on labor participation of prime-age workers across the U.S work force. Workers who abuse opioids can't pass a drug screen, and may not even apply for jobs that require a drug test as a condition of employment.

The growing use of marijuana has also become a problem, and the manufacturing sector shows up to half of applicants failing their drug test. While it may be legal under state law, employers say they can't afford the risk like Tom Felton from Bay Human Services.

"As a company, if we were to hire people and they tested positive for drugs,and we don't do anything about it,and something happens, we're liable," Felton said.

Michelle Cordano who is the Executive Director for Capital Manufacturing Council said the biggest problem employers face is lack of honesty beforehand from people who apply for open positions.

"One of the things that surprises manufactures is that they actually tell people we're going to drug test you,' Are you going to pass?' and they say yes and then they don't," Cordano said.