Marijuana has been on my mind for the last couple of weeks…. And NO, not for the reason you are thinking. I have read multiple stories over the last several years from CO, OR and WA discussing aspects of the first several months after those states legalized recreational use. There was quite a spike at first (as one would expect) and businesses/municipalities were not entirely ready for the intended or unintended consequences. One story chronicled a business traveler’s escapades while at a trade show in CO. The story wasn’t salacious per se; However, it did highlight a current concern for businesses effected.
Now, it is our turn. The recent legalization of Marijuana in CA brings a heightened responsibility of employers in our state to make sure they have a concise drug and alcohol policy and fair procedure for dealing with potential infractions. The safety of your employees, your business and potentially the general public is at stake. While it may not be feasible to discipline an employee for any evidence of use – what they do on their own time is still up to them – you still have the right and responsibility to a drug & alcohol free workplace.
As with any policy it must be enforced uniformly and should not be used to unfairly target anyone or you run the risk of potential employee-employer litigation. Such litigation could be costly as most employers are reticent to purchase insurance coverage for these types of suits.
So, if you haven’t looked over your drug & alcohol policy is a while take a fresh look. Make sure you are taking good care of your business.
For additional insight … check out Business Insurance’s article