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Weekend Roundup: Transition to Remote Work, Employee Drug Testing, Tyson Food Managers Fired

In today’s Weekend Roundup, a new study by National Science Foundation Rapid Response Research takes a look at how employees responded when forced to start working remotely, New Jersey passes a bill establishing regulations for selling and consuming marijuana, and Tyson Foods fires seven managers for creating a betting ring on workers who they believed would get COVID-19. Click the headlines to learn more.

Rapid Transition to Remote Work: What HR Needs to Know

Employees forced to start working remotely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have adjusted well, according to research conducted in spring 2020 at the height of nationwide lockdowns. Asked to rate their adjustment on a scale of 1 to 5, nearly 500 survey respondents scored their job performance highly, at about 4, and scored their stress level in the middle, at almost 3. The research also identified factors that consistently predicted how well remote workers would adjust to their new conditions, including feelings of social isolation and whether they had the right workspace at home. The project was funded by National Science Foundation Rapid Response Research grants.

Weed Will Be Legal Soon In N.J.

Can my job still drug test me? The short answer: yes.

But it’s more complicated. Companies cannot fire employees unless they can prove they were high while at work. That’s much harder to do than showing someone was drunk on the job. State lawmakers passed a bill (S21) that establishes rules and regulations for selling and consuming marijuana Thursday. With Gov. Phil Murphy’s signature, it becomes law.

The bill prohibits an employer from firing or refusing to hire a person who uses marijuana in their free time. But it does permit employers who have “reasonable suspicion” a worker has gotten high during work, whether by noticing intoxicated behavior or in the aftermath of a workplace accident, to conduct a drug test and have a trained person evaluate them for signs of inebriation.

Tyson Foods Fires Seven Plant Managers Over Betting Ring On Workers Getting COVID-19

Tyson Foods has fired seven managers at an Iowa pork plant after investigating allegations they bet on how many workers there would get sick from the coronavirus.

The company, one of the country’s largest meat suppliers, launched an independent investigation into the complaints last month, suspending without pay the managers allegedly involved. Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder led the investigation.

“The behaviors exhibited by these individuals do not represent the Tyson core values, which is why we took immediate and appropriate action to get to the truth,” Tyson Foods President and CEO Dean Banks said in a statement Wednesday. “Now that the investigation has concluded, we are taking action based on the findings.”

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