For employers who have employees who use medical cannabis, the waters are becoming murky.
The landscape surrounding cannabis legalization in the United States has left both employees and employers in the dark. Because cannabis laws change so quickly, there is still a lot of uncertainty.
Unfortunately, surprises occur when parties are kept in the dark about the rules and regulations of cannabis consumption. Typically, those surprises for employees come in the form of random drug tests, which may result in unemployment.
That is why, even in places where cannabis is completely legal, it is critical to keep a few important caveats in mind when consuming it.
In this blog post, we break down some important facts to remember about weed in the workplace and how to navigate this tricky situation.
You can still be Terminated if you go to Work Under the Influence
There are numerous circumstances that could tempt an employee to head to work under the influence. From an overwhelming amount of responsibilities to an influx of unpleasant customers or clients, there are a wide variety of reasons why taking a massive bong rip prior to work is seen as a necessity for employees.
Because employers have the right to fire employees who are suspected of being under the influence, it is best for overworked employees to find another way to relieve the stress of the job. This could protect you from the stress of looking for a new job while your bills continue to pile up.
Federal Prohibition of Cannabis Means Employers Can Maintain-Zero Tolerance Policies
The federal prohibition of cannabis is one of the reasons why employers can still fire employees for using cannabis on the job, even in legal states. This enables employers to require their employees to sign an agreement to contribute to making the workplace drug-free.
Another reason for allowing employers to fire employees for cannabis use is to link it to a drop in workplace performance. Performance-based industries have every right to fire employees who negatively impact the bottom line or the performance of other employees due to cannabis use. This is especially true if the cannabis use that impairs employee performance occurs on the job.
In this scenario, the only time employers should be concerned is when dealing with an employee who has a medical cannabis card.
A Medical Cannabis Card May Provide Special Accommodations For Those who Qualify
People who require medical cannabis to perform daily tasks are more likely to be granted special privileges regarding cannabis use in the workplace. Depending on the state, there are a number of conditions that may qualify someone for a medical cannabis card.
HIV/AIDS, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis are among the most common qualifying conditions. This means that employers must exercise caution when imposing drug testing requirements on those who qualify.
The best way to do this is to find out if any employees are part of a state’s medical cannabis card program. Some states have laws designed to protect medical cannabis patients from discrimination, so employers should take special care to ensure that their drug-free workplace policies do not discriminate against these employees.