So far, 28 states have legalized marijuana for medical use and eight, as well as the District of Columbia, have legalized for recreational use for those 21 and older. Most states don’t require employers to accommodate workers’ use of medical marijuana but some employers are accommodating workers anyway.
Medical Marijuana at Work
Employers can choose to offer medical marijuana users a range of accommodations at work, including a leave of absence or modified job duties. Some states even allow employers to use marijuana products with low tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels, as higher amounts could impair judgment more depending on the user.
Considering safety is the number one issue with medical marijuana in the workplace. It’s all fine and dandy in a creative office workplace but what about jobs involving risk? One such job is driving. Employees who drive to homes and businesses to sell or install products may be switched to an office position or ride-along job. Federal contract jobs still have drug-free workplace policies because the risk is far too high.
Keeping Patients Employed
It’s important for employers to keep in mind that many medical marijuana users have significant medical issues like cancer, chronic pain, or epilepsy that could otherwise require them to be on unemployment. Medical marijuana allows these individuals to be more productive and continuing in their jobs allows them to keep the health care that they desperately need.
Americans with Disabilities Act
Medical marijuana prescribed for otherwise disabled people, those with PTSD, and those who need the increased appetite due to HIV, among others may be covered under the ADA. However, an employer is allowed to discipline a user, if caught at work, in a way they see fit. This would usually be a warning or possibly just a talk about how an employer may accommodate the employee.