Joe Reilly, President of National Drug Screening recently presented at The American Equity Underwriters, Inc. National Forum in Chicago. The topic was: The 411 on 420: Employer Rights Regarding Cannabis. Reilly was joined by co-presenter – attorney Donald P. Moore from the Gulf South and Midwest law firm – Galloway, Johnson, Tompkins, Burr & Smith.
The presentation centered around the topic of Marijuana in the Workplace and what employers should do about emerging trends on marijuana including legal medical marijuana and legal recreational marijuana in many states. Laws differ from State to State about how marijuana in the workplace should be handled including the potential of making accommodations for medical marijuana use and some state laws restricting adverse employment actions based solely on a marijuana positive drug test.
Reilly explained various drug testing methodologies and the limitations currently available in detecting impairment from marijuana. Donald Moore spoke of various workers’ compensation insurance considerations and the various state laws regarding reimbursement for medical marijuana treatments. Mississippi was the state where examples of these issues were highlighted and the Mississippi medical marijuana law that did not prohibit an employer’s rights to maintain a drug free workplace including drug testing for marijuana.
Reilly and Moore wrapped up the presentation with some takeaways for employers regarding marijuana in the workplace and the challenges faced by many differing state laws.
- Be aware of State laws on drug testing specifically marijuana laws and laws addressing testing for marijuana
- Leadership must make decisions regarding marijuana in the workplace and testing for marijuana
- Decide on any accommodations for medical marijuana use
- Policies must be revised or implemented based on the decisions made regarding marijuana in the workplace and testing for marijuana
- Seek legal counsel or guidance from professionals specializing in drug testing and marijuana policies
- Have an interactive conversation with employees claiming medical marijuana use after testing positive for marijuana
The American Equity Underwriters, Inc., or AEU is s the program administrator of the American Longshore Mutual Association, Ltd. (ALMA), a group self-insurance fund authorized by the U.S. Department of Labor to provide USL&H coverage for the liabilities of its members under the United States Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. AEU is determined to help their members continually reduce risks for the benefit of their employees and their industry as a whole. The 2023 National Forum was held in Chicago, Illinois including presentations from industry experts and peers about field-tested methods, emerging trends, and solutions to common safety, claims, and leadership issues.