Risk control executive offers nonlegal anti-pot advice
Whether your company is in a state with legalized medical marijuana or not, you should become educated on the topic to avoid legal trouble, says Bill Nagel.
The president and CEO of Risk Control Services advises employers and others in the workers' comp system to seek legal advice on any laws that affect them, then take the following steps:
- Review the company's policies and other documents addressing drug use and testing -- including drug testing consent forms -- and update them as necessary to state your position on medical marijuana use by job applicants and employees.
- Ensure that all human resources and drug testing personnel are aware of the company's policy regarding medical marijuana.
- Adopt appropriate measures for maintaining the confidentiality of employees' and applicants' registry status.
- Maintain uniformity in the enforcement of any drug testing policy and response to positive test results. In states with medical marijuana laws, update the drug and alcohol policies relating to drug use and drug testing altering language that says the employer will not hire or will terminate an employee who tests positive for marijuana.
- Include policy language in medical marijuana states that says, "Possession or use of, or impairment from marijuana in the workplace will not be tolerated." The policy could include language spelling out that medical marijuana will be treated like any other "lawfully prescribed drug" that may impair the way a worker functions on the job.
- Be aware that companies do not have to allow anyone to work while impaired, whether by alcohol, marijuana, or any other drug.
October 10, 2011
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