Marijuana in the Workplace: The Growing Conflict Between Drug, Employment Laws

Bloomberg BNA Health Law Reporter

Nathaniel M. Glasser, a Member of the Firm in the Labor and Employment practice, and Jonathan K. Hoerner, an Associate in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, authored an article in Bloomberg BNA Health Law Reporter titled “Marijuana in the Workplace: The Growing Conflict Between Drug, Employment Laws.”

Following is an excerpt (see below to download the full article in PDF format):

With this patchwork of state laws, employers are left to grapple with whether and how to accommodate their employees who use marijuana for medical purposes or recreationally.

Health care entities face a special challenge because their workforce is likely to be educated on medical marijuana issues and may witness first-hand its treatment effects. Many of these entities, however, employ individuals in safety-sensitive positions, such as physicians, nurses, and technicians, involved in direct patient care, medication preparation, or medical device operation. Special consideration is warranted when developing policies surrounding marijuana use by employees in this industry, and in many cases zero tolerance policies may be necessary. For instance, certain jurisdictions may require reporting of marijuana use by physicians to the appropriate licensing authority.

Based on the relatively few cases decided by courts in this area, employers who wish to continue their zero tolerance policy for marijuana use likely are legally insulated, but should continue to monitor for developments in this area of the law.