Bulletin Board Magazine 2022 Volume 2

You Can’t Take Adverse Employment Action Against An Employee Merely Because They Test Positive for Marijuana. Given that marijuana is now legal for individuals 21 or over in New Jersey, the legislature has made it illegal to either refuse employment or to take any action against an employee merely because they test positive for cannabinoid metabolites (marijuana). This does not mean that you must remove marijuana from your drug screen, though it is certainly recommended. Marijuana Remains Illegal Pursuant to Federal Law. Despite New Jersey’s legalization of recreational use, the Federal government still deems it to be illegal. As a result, those employers doing business with the Federal government or who operate vehicles that may drive outside of the state are likely subject to a different set of rules. You should contact legal counsel to determine what policies are required in this situation. There Remains a Duty to Medically Accommodate Marijuana Use. As was the case before recreational marijuana was legalized, those individuals who receive marijuana as a result of a medical prescription must be reasonably accommodated. Employers are encouraged to speak with legal counsel to discuss these accommodations. That said, this accommodation requirement is not without limits. A medical marijuana prescription

(much like a prescription for an opiate/ painkiller) is not and never has been a license to appear at work impaired and unable to safely

perform the duties of the job. Have a Policy In Place.

It is strongly recommended that all employers have an employee handbook with policies in place regarding marijuana, alcohol and other substances. This is more important than ever given that New Jersey still has not issued WIRE related regulations. Policies not only put your employees on notice of the rules but provide supervisors quick access to rules they can review and rely on when these issues arise.

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