Recreational Cannabis - What's An Employer To Do?

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
07/26/2023
On July 1, 2023, recreational cannabis (marijuana) became legal in Maryland for persons 21 years and older.  While employers have been navigating this territory with medical marijuana for some time now, here are some tips for employers who now have to contend with recreational use in the mix.   Under the new Maryland law (2022 MD H.B. 1), individuals 21 and older may use marijuana while off duty.  They may not report to work under the influence...
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The New Jersey Law Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Use Does Not Permit Workers To Sue Their Employers For Job Discrimination

Clifford Geiger
Clifford Geiger
06/01/2023
In January 2022, Eric Zanetich applied for a job in Walmart’s Asset Protection Department.  He was offered the job subject to submitting to and passing a drug test.  Zanetich alleged that Walmart’s Drug & Alcohol Policy stated, “any applicant or associate who tests positive for illegal drug use may be ineligible for employment.”  Zanetich took a drug test.  He tested positive for marijuana, and the job offer was rescinded. Zanetich...
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Marijuana Discrimination Protections: The New Frontier

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
09/02/2022
As blogged about recently, the District of Columbia passed legislation which, once approved by Congress, will prohibit employers from taking adverse action against employees who choose to use cannabis while off-duty.  Not to be outdone, on August 30, 2022, California’s state legislature passed Assembly Bill 2188 which will protect workers who use cannabis off the clock.  California’s bill is now headed to Governor Newsom’s desk for...
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District of Columbia Enacts Employment Protections for Marijuana Users

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
08/17/2022
The D.C. Mayor signed the Cannabis Employment Protections Amendment Act of 2022, which prohibits adverse employment actions against marijuana/cannabis users for most off-duty use, with certain exceptions.  Once the Congressional review period occurs, the law will become effective once its fiscal impact is included in an approved budget and financial plan, or 365 days after the Mayor approves the Act, whichever is later (so, at least a year from...
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Laws Proposed To Protect Marijuana Users At Work

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
07/19/2019
I’ve bloggedin the past about ways in which Maryland’s medical cannabis law is unclear or leaves questions unanswered when it comes to employee rights under that law.  So I thought it apropos to blog here about two bills (SB863 and SB864) introduced earlier this year that aim to clarify some of the questions and expand the protections of workers who use marijuana. Screening for Use of Marijuana or Cannabis (SB863) This law seeks to...
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Montana Worker’s Wrongful Discharge Claim Goes Up In Smoke

Garrett Wozniak
Garrett Wozniak
11/28/2018
In 2010, an employee for Charter Communications, LLC was approved for a medical marijuana card (under Montana state law) to treat low back and stomach pain.  He could use the medical marijuana when he was not working, operating heavy equipment, or driving.  In January 2016, the employee hit a pole while working and driving a Charter-owned vehicle.  He tested positive for THC following two post-accident urinalysis tests.  Charter terminated the...
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Age and Wage Issues Among Many Resolved On Election Day

As votes in yesterday’s elections continue to be tallied, there were several developments of interest to employers and to labor and employment practitioners alike. Age: The ADEA Applies To Public Sector Employers Of All Sizes First, yesterday morning, the Supreme Court announced its first decision of the 2018-19 term.  In a unanimous (8-0) ruling, the Court held in Mount Lemmon Fire District v. Guido that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act...
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Marijuana Law Does Not Compel Employer To Waive Its Drug-Testing Policy

Kollman & Saucier
Kollman & Saucier
10/24/2018
Last year, I blogged about Maryland’s medical marijuana law and its potential implications on drug-free workplaces and drug testing policies.  Although Maryland courts (still) have not addressed the questions in the employment law context, courts in other jurisdictions with medical marijuana statutes have issued rulings that could provide insight on some of the issues.  Recently, a federal district court in New Jersey did just this in...
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New Mexico State Courts Should Decide How To Interpret State Employment and Marijuana Laws

Clifford Geiger
Clifford Geiger
08/10/2015
Augustine Stanley filed a lawsuit in New Mexico state court alleging that his employer discriminated against him when it fired him as a detention officer because of his state-authorized used of medical marijuana.  Stanley’s original complaint, based only on state law, alleged that the New Mexico Human Rights Act required his employer to accommodate his medical marijuana use.  Medical marijuana use is illegal under federal law, which the U.S....
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Drug-Free Workplaces In The Era Of Medical And/or Legal Marijuana Use

An employee with terminal illness or severe pain obtains medical marijuana from a licensed dispensary.  His or her employer, however, maintains a drug-free workplace policy that provides for employee drug testing. What can an employer do under these circumstances?  This post is designed to provide a basic snapshot of the current state of the law, and the prominent issues that employers face.  As detailed below, employers are generally blanketed...
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