Compliance Update: Legalized Marijuana and Employment

Off-Duty Use and Drug Testing

While all marijuana use remains illegal under federal law, most states have enacted laws that allow certain uses of marijuana or a marijuana derivative. None of these laws place any restrictions on an employer’s right to administer drug tests or to prohibit their employees from using or being under the influence of marijuana at work or during work hours.

However, it is not always clear whether an employer may take adverse employment actions against an employee based solely on a positive test for marijuana. As a result, several courts have issued decisions on this issue. These decisions will answer this question for employers in some legalized marijuana states and may be helpful for employers in others.

This Compliance Overview provides a general summary of federal and state marijuana laws and the court decisions that provide guidance for employers in this area.

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