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How Does Medical Marijuana Use Affect Employment?

8.12.14

Danielle Urban was quoted in the August 12, 2014 Benefits Pro article "How does medical marijuana use affect employment?"

As marijuana legalization spreads from municipality to municipality and state to state, employers watching this wave of legislation to end marijuana prohibition have good reason to wonder about the future of their employment policies. And in questionable workplace situations that involve medical marijuana, employers might be confused about what they are and are not required to accommodate under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"Under the ADA, there is no obligation to accommodate marijuana use,” explains Danielle, “even if someone has a disability and a health care professional has said the employee might benefit from the medical use of marijuana. As an employer, you are free to have a zero-tolerance policy, with some exceptions, such as states like Arizona and Minnesota.”

However, employers must be cognizant of the fact that employees approaching them with medical marijuana questions may have a condition that is protected under the ADA, even if their marijuana use to treat that condition is not protected.

“Employers shouldn’t simply say, ‘I can’t accommodate you,’ especially if the employee has come to them with this issue before violating company policy with a positive drug test,” she adds.  “In most states, employers are not required to accommodate marijuana use, but they must recognize that the employee may have a condition that is protected under the ADA. It is up to the employee to engage in the interactive process with the employer to address the need for accommodation in a way that not only accommodates the employee but also does not become an undue hardship on the employer.”

Click here to read the full article.

The article also appeared on Credit Union Times.

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