SmartStart Employment Screening
Jordan B. Schwartz wrote an article titled "As Marijuana Becomes Legal in More States, How Should Employers Handle Positive Drug Tests?"
Due to the ever changing laws surrounding the legality of marijuana, many of our hospitality clients have recently asked us whether it is lawful to terminate an employee who has tested positive for marijuana. The answer varies greatly depending on the state in which you are located.
States continue to pass legislation legalizing marijuana use for specific purposes. On July 5, 2014, New York became the twenty-first state along with the District of Columbia to legalize marijuana use for certain medical conditions—joining Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Two other states, Colorado and Washington, have legalized recreational marijuana use for individuals who are 21 years old or older, and Alaska and Oregon currently have similar legislation pending.
Most state laws legalizing marijuana do not address the employment issues implicated by these statutes. Courts in several of these states have held that the protection afforded under these statutes is limited to the decriminalization of marijuana. Therefore, courts have generally upheld employers' right to discipline employees, including terminating their employment, when the employees' marijuana use violates drug-free workplace policies. However, some states, such as Arizona, Delaware, and Connecticut, prohibit employers from terminating an individual's employment or failing to hire an applicant solely based on a positive drug test result. Consequently, employers in those states should proceed cautiously when deciding whether to discipline an employee or fail to hire an applicant based on marijuana use.
2010 - present
2010 - present