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More Lenient Laws Lead to Stricter Marijuana Policies


Danielle Urban was quoted in SHRM on December 14, 2015. The article “More Lenient Laws Lead to Stricter Marijuana Policies” discussed how even though some employees now have the ability to use marijuana legally, it doesn't mean their employers will look the other way if they attempt to work under the influence.

Danielle provided advice on how to accommodate for medical marijuana use in company policies.

But Arizona and Minnesota have laws that prohibit discharging someone who is using medical marijuana, said Danielle, who anticipates that litigation over this issue will continue. And the District of Columbia, New York and Rhode Island all arguably have similar laws.

Marijuana use is so common among people in some industries that employers are having a hard time finding job candidates who can pass drug tests, she said.

In safety-sensitive industries, such as trucking, employers are required to test and hire only employees who pass the tests; applicants in those industries understand that, she noted.

However, in industries that aren’t safety sensitive, such as fast-food and auto dealerships, some employers want to back away from zero-tolerance policies. But no one is willing to be the first to do it, because of the risk of being sued for negligence, Danielle added.

“Everybody jumped on the bandwagon in the Reagan era” and created zero-tolerance policies then, she said. But now, Urban said, employers should be thoughtful about their policies and whether they need to cover recreational or medical use of marijuana.

 To read the full article, please visit SHRM.

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