BLOOMBERG BNA WEBINAR EVENT: Out of Joint: How the Growing Disconnect Between Federal and State Marijuana Laws Impacts Businesses
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM ET
This program will explore whether the legalization of marijuana will affect an employer’s right to discipline employees for the recreational use of the substance. State and federal courts have routinely upheld an employer’s right to discipline employees who test positive for marijuana in violation of a company’s substance abuse policy, even when the positive test results from the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) (21 U.S.C. § 801 et seq.) strictly prohibits the possession and use of marijuana. The United States Supreme Court has held that possession of marijuana is illegal under the CSA regardless of whether a state allows the use of medical marijuana. Gonzales v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1, 27-29 (2005). Similarly, the Sixth Circuit has held that “private employees are not protected from disciplinary action as a result of their use of medical marijuana, nor are private employers required to accommodate the use of medical marijuana in the workplace.” Casias v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 695 F.3d 428, 437 (6th Cir. 2012). Employers have relied on these court holdings and federal law when dealing with employees who test positive for marijuana. However, last year, voters in Colorado and Washington passed initiatives legalizing the recreational use of marijuana. Other states are expected to follow suit, especially if taxation of marijuana sales proves to be a source of revenues that cash-strapped state and local governments can tap into.
The agenda will include an overview of the legal landscape for workplace substance policies, with a special focus on how the legalization of marijuana affects drug testing. Participants will learn about the on-going obligations of some employers to maintain a drug-free workplace and to test for marijuana, even in those states where marijuana is legal. The program will include a discussion of the applicability of various employment laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.), to employees who use marijuana.
- Find out about suggested revisions to substance abuse policies and communications to employees now that marijuana is legal in certain states.
- Learn how to handle positive drug tests for marijuana when an employee presents a “prescription” for medical marijuana or claims that a positive test results from the medicinal use of marijuana.
- Understand how to analyze the applicability of employment laws, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, to employees who use marijuana.
Who would benefit most from attending the program?
Human resources managers; in-house employment law counsel; privacy officers; traditional labor attorneys; arbitrators; managers responsible for administering workplace drug testing programs.
Program Level: Intermediate
Credit Available: This program’s CLE-credit eligibility varies by state.