Tips for Handling Marijuana in the Workplace

Written by on 9/18/2017 3:42 AM in , , , . It has 1 Comments.


For employers, the issue of marijuana at work grows increasingly complicated. 28 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana to some degree. 60% of the public supports such efforts, with the surprising majority in the 55+ age group. Growing in prevalence, the legalized use of this drug could have significant repercussions for your business.

How Can You Balance Workplace Safety with Off-Duty Conduct?

With hiring that mitigates risk.
Consider job descriptions, duties and responsibilities of each position. Could hiring an employee that uses marijuana off-duty affect performance and safety in any aspect of this position? Some state laws do not require the accommodation of marijuana usage in positions in which an employee cannot fulfill any part of their job responsibilities.

However under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a medical marijuana user could argue for accommodation based on disability. The devil is in the jurisdictional details, with HR and legal counsel playing pivotal roles.

With training to recognize impairment.
The ability to recognize an employee impaired by marijuana at work is essential to preventing accidents, and critical post-accident. Procedural training on recognizing and documenting impairment, and the timing of testing (if used) are key to compliance here.

By considering drug testing or alternatives.
Consider legally-allowed drug testing for hiring and for cause (following a safety incident), subsequent to HR or legal counsel. Or consider psychomotor testing as an alternative, which measures reaction time and coordination that can directly impact job performance, and has been shown to improve safety 82%.

Concerns about marijuana at work? Let the experience of Minnesota Comp Advisor help you travel these previously uncharted waters. Contact us today

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