Now that Massachusetts has legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal and limited recreational purposes, how should employers in the Commonwealth deal with worker use of marijuana? Here are three things any employer should be aware of about marijuana use in the workplace.
1. Employers can prohibit employees from reporting to work or performing work under the influence of marijuana, even if they cannot control the use of recreational marijuana outside of work.
However, detecting the current use of marijuana can pose a challenge, since cannabis-related substances may remain in an employee’s system for more than 20 days.
2. Although the medical marijuana law in Massachusetts allows employers to prohibit use in the workplace, for medical marijuana used in accordance with a valid prescription from a healthcare provider, employers must engage in an interactive dialogue to determine whether the lawful medicinal use is a reasonable accommodation of the employee’s disability.
In the recent case of Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing, LLC, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court rejected the employer’s defense that the use of medical marijuana in the workplace is a facially unreasonable accommodation because such use is still a crime under federal law. Rather, the SJC … Keep reading