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Employer Drug Tests Help Black Workers

Racism, Again: Why Drug Tests Are Helping Black Americans Get Jobs

Drug tests, which prove Blacks and Whites use drugs at the same rate — countering the stereotype that Blacks use drugs more — help Black employment. 

Drug tests do disproportionately impact people of color, but not in the way the ACLU implies. Rather, economist Abigail K. Wozniak finds, drug testing is actually boosting employment for Blacks, particularly those who who are relatively unskilled. How's that?

To put it simply: In the absence of information, it seems that employers are susceptible to making racist assumptions about who uses drugs and who doesn't. This suppresses Black employment. But in places where drug testing is more common, Black employment rises, seemingly given a bit of a lift by the opportunity to prove against stereotype that one is not a drug user.

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