Colorado has been one of the go-to states when it comes to making jokes about marijuana legalization. But things are very serious when it comes to legalized marijuana, and the impact has been seen in the economy in a big way. But businesses still need to maintain a safe workplace, and that often means taking additional steps to keep their employees protected.
One factor that has to be considered is the use of a random drug test in order to keep employees safe and your workplace drug-free. And even pre-employment screening is something that you’ll need to consider more carefully due to the legalization of marijuana in the state.
The main thing to keep in mind here? Legal marijuana doesn’t mean that employers don’t’ have rights. You can still drug test employees – and the fact that federal law still outlaws the drug means that you have more rights than you might think.
Essentially, Colorado’s marijuana law states that just because marijuana is legal it doesn’t’ mean that employers are required to allow the use, display, sale, consumption, or growing of marijuana in the workplace. In other words, you have the right to create a drug policy in the workplace and maintain a safe working environment for yourself and your employees.
For example, employers who alert their employees to their drug testing policy will have many more rights than they may suspect. A recent case in the Colorado court of appeals confirmed that the federal law means that employers can sanction their employees how they feel is best for them – and that means that they can forbid employees from using marijuana – even outside of the workplace.
It’s worth noting that while using a Colorado random drug test is a good idea for many – especially those in an industry that requires maximum safety – those with high turnover rates may find that drug testing for marijuana is too much to maintain a good working environment. Instead, employers need to take the time to think about their business and how marijuana use fits into it. Then, they should develop a drug testing policy that fits their needs.
However, when drafting your drug testing policy be sure to remember that you have more rights than you realize and that everything from a random drug test to pre-employment screening will be allowed – Colorado may have legalized marijuana, but you will have more rights than you might suspect when it comes to keeping a workplace drug free.