Today, employers are faced with increasing issues when presented with an employee who is under the influence of marijuana, tests positive for the drug, or requests the ability to be able to use marijuana for a medical reason. However, merely because the employee claims that "it is legal" does not make it "legal" in the workplace.
In a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in53 percent of Americans felt that marijuana should be legal while 44 percent supported continued criminalization. The tension between federal and state law has led to confusion and challenges in many industries, including law enforcement, banking, and real estate.
Across all industries, employers of individuals who use marijuana are also grappling with the juxtaposition of state and federal law. As marijuana is legalized, usage increases. For example, after marijuana was decriminalized in Colorado, the number of positive workplace drug tests increased by 20 percent between andcompared to a national average increase of five percent.
The article concludes by providing suggestions for how employers can best navigate this landscape. In addition to this certification, these employers generally must: The Act does not require that employers conduct mandatory drug tests.
In states where statutes are silent on this issue, courts have generally determined that employers are not required to accommodate medical marijuana use under the ADA or under state statutes modeled on the ADA. For example, in Emerald Steel v. Bureau of Labor and Industries,27 the Oregon Supreme Court held that an employer does not have a duty to accommodate an employee who used medical marijuana outside of the workplace because marijuana is illegal under federal law.
The employee was a drill press operator who was fired after a positive urinalysis for marijuana metabolites. The employee was not using marijuana under the supervision of a licensed health care professional because his doctor had given him a recommendation rather than a prescription.
However, some states have enacted laws which speak specifically to medical marijuana accommodation. Marijuana Legalization and Wrongful Termination Claims As noted above, many marijuana legalization statutes and initiatives do not explicitly address the use of marijuana at the workplace.
In states that do not have specific statutory prohibitions on the termination of an employee for the legal use of marijuana, these claims have failed.
For example, in Casias v. In Casias, a Wal-Mart employee lawfully used medical marijuana and was terminated after a work-related injury required him to undergo a urinalysis test. Teletech Customer Care Mgmt.
The facts of Coats are particularly compelling because the employee was a quadriplegic who, based on the court filings, did not commit any workplace violation other than testing positive for medical marijuana, which he was licensed to use under Colorado state law. Marijuana Legalization and Unemployment Insurance Benefits Whether an employee who has been discharged based on a positive drug test for marijuana metabolites is entitled to unemployment benefits will vary by state.
For example, in Michigan, an employee who was discharged after lawfully using medicinal marijuana outside of the workplace is not disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits. Notably, this employee, who was hired to sweep a street mall with a broom and dustpan, was using medical marijuana lawfully, outside of working hours.
In Maine, in the case of Noll v. LePage Bakeries,69 the employee at issue sustained a back injury while making deliveries and requested reimbursement for 1 a medical evaluation for the purpose of obtaining a medical marijuana certificate; 2 medical marijuana; and 3 a vaporizer to use for the administration of the medical marijuana.
The WCA requires an employer to provide an employee with reasonable and necessary health care services from a health care provider. Additionally, if an employer suspects that an employee was impaired at the time of a work-related injury, he should not rely on a urine toxicology test alone, but should seek other evidence to show impairment, such as surveillance cameras and the statements of other employees.
Unanswered Questions The state legalization of a drug that remains illegal under federal law has created uncertainty in various areas of law. Employment law is no exception.Across all industries, employers of individuals who use marijuana are also grappling with the juxtaposition of state and federal law.
State legalization of marijuana is of real concern to employers who strive to maintain productivity, ensure workplace safety, and protect workers’ rights. As marijuana is legalized, usage increases. Jun 27, · Employers and workers have a duty to keep workplaces safe and work safely.
While employers have a duty to accommodate medical cannabis use, recreational use of cannabis in the workplace will be a violation of the law. The Smoke-Free Ontario Act, comes into force on July 1, This legislation addresses the use of Location: 43 Front Street East Suite , Toronto, M5E 1B3, Ontario.
Importantly, however, marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Medical Marijuana. Employers with employees who use medical marijuana will have to do some studying into the employee's job. Across all industries, employers of individuals who use marijuana are also grappling with the juxtaposition of state and federal law.
State legalization of marijuana is of real concern to employers who strive to maintain productivity, ensure workplace safety, and protect workers’ rights. As marijuana is legalized, usage increases.
Employer Legal Issue – Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado Colorado voters have unfortunately approved Amendment 64, legalizing marijuana, which shall take into effect as of January 5th, As with alcohol, marijuana can be .
All businesses run scared of the law. But, even the law has limits. The smallest businesses and small family businesses, for example, fall under the thresholds for some compliance issues. Federal contractors and state contractors face obligations that other companies do not.
Some employers see no problem with allowing marijuana use in the workplace.