Legal medical marijuana complicates employers' policymaking
As states legalize the use of medical marijuana, employers must adapt and adopt new policies for the workplace.
Even though marijuana has not been decriminalized federally, many states that have decriminalized the plant's use are plagued on how to handle medical marijuana on the job. Some have made accommodations for medical marijuana patents; others have not.
Eugene Keefe, partner at Keefe, Campbell, Biery and Associates, offers a webinar, "The Ever-Changing Legal Landscape of Marijuana in Your Work Sites," to help employers deal with their new dilemma.
"An employer needs to carefully evaluate each position before taking any formal personnel action arising from the use of medical marijuana," he says.
Keefe says it is vital for employers who detect marijuana use to confirm that an employee is in a medical marijuana program; even then, a course of action can be problematic, especially when the program participant is prescribed medical use as part of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Keefe advises that in states requiring accommodation for medical marijuana patients, "You need to look at the specific demands of the job, as well as any competing regulations that may apply, in considering an employee’s use of medical marijuana."
For instance, he notes, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s regulations do not permit the use of marijuana.