As an employer in New York, you know that marijuana laws have been changing in the state. Like many other states, New York now allows for the use of recreational marijuana. It is not illegal for those who are over 21 to possess a small amount of marijuana and to purchase it legally from dispensaries.
Additionally, employers are prohibited from discriminating based on marijuana use. If the employee is using marijuana products outside of work, whether they are doing it for recreational purposes or medical purposes, employers cannot use that as a reason to fire the employee or discriminate against them when hiring.
That being said, employees are not supposed to use marijuana products on the job, and employers can take action if it appears that an employee is impaired in some way. This could lead to health and safety issues and make the workplace dangerous – not just for that employee, but for the others who are working with them.
Why this can get complicated with marijuana use
In some cases, employers will see direct evidence that an employee is impaired on the job. But they may also consider using drug tests after an injury to see if there is marijuana in a person’s system.
But the problem with this is that marijuana can show up on a drug test long after the impairment from the product has ended. An employee could theoretically use cannabis products the night before work and fail a test the next day, even though it has been hours since they were actually impaired or high.
This can make things very complicated when considering workers’ compensation rights. Employers need to know exactly what steps to take and what options they have.