Podcast: Drug Testing in the Marijuana Legalization Age
On this podcast, New Hampshire employment attorney Jim Reidy discusses with XpertHR Legal Editor David Weisenfeld whether employers should still be testing for marijuana on their drug screens. With 33 states having legalized some form of medical marijuana and 10 more plus the District of Columbia having legalized recreational use, the issue is growing in importance.
New York City recently passed a groundbreaking preemployment drug testing ban for marijuana, and Maine has a similar ban. Reidy called these laws, "The wave of things to come." But he expects that safety-sensitive positions will always be exceptions.
Employer-friendly court rulings in this area are no longer universal. For instance, courts in Connecticut and Massachusetts have sided with fired medical marijuana users. But Reidy said a trickier question is what to do in states like Colorado and New York which ban employers from engaging in a legal activity outside of work. "The problem is if you engage in the activity outside of work and come into work impaired, the question is whether or not the employer can act."