Alabama - Considerations for Marijuana in the Workplace

Medical
Marijuana Law:

Recreational
Marijuana Law:

No Broad Laws
Legalizing Marijuana*:

*Marijuana is either totally illegal, or there may be laws decriminalizing possession, or use of marijuana, or, the state may have a CBD law legalizing THC at a level constituting marijuana-derived CBD.

Employer Concerns – Significant to Review

  • Employers are permitted to establish and enforce drug testing and drug-free workplace policies and may
    refuse to hire, discharge, discipline, or otherwise take adverse action against individuals who use medical
    marijuana, regardless of whether the individual is under the influence from such use.
  • Employers can require employees to notify the employer if the employee possesses a medical cannabis
    card.
  • Employers are not required to permit, accommodate, or allow the use of medical marijuana or modify job or
    working conditions for employees who use medical marijuana.
  • No government medical assistance program, employer insurance or private health insurer is required to be
    responsible for costs associated with the use of medical marijuana.
  • Recommending physicians must use a standardized consent form that advises patients that “the use of
    medical cannabis could result in termination from employment without recourse and that costs may not be
    covered by insurance or government programs.”
  • Employers are protected from a private right of action for adverse action taken as a result of an individuals’
    use of medical marijuana.

Testing

  • (Alabama Code Chapter 13A-NEW) It is against the law to, “… knowingly manufacture, market, sell,
    distribute, use or possess synthetic urine or urine additives to defraud an alcohol, drug or urine screening.

Hiring/Termination

  • Employers are still permitted to establish and enforce drug testing and drug-free workplace policies and
    may refuse to hire, discharge, discipline, or otherwise take adverse action against individuals who use
    medical marijuana, regardless of whether the individual is under the influence from such use.

Discipline

  • See Significant Above

Use/Possession

  • Smoking and vaping is forbidden.

Other Impacting Laws

(e.g., drug testing, workers’ compensation, unemployment)
  • Alabama has a voluntary drug testing law which also provides a premium discount for compliance.
  • (Alabama Code Chapter 13A-NEW) It is against the law to, “… knowingly manufacture, market, sell,
    distribute, use or possess synthetic urine or urine additives to defraud an alcohol, drug or urine screening.”
  • There are unemployment and workers’ compensation laws in Alabama that contain their own drug testing
    requirements and which the employer’s program must be consistent with in order to position themselves
    for denying unemployment or workers’ compensation claims.

    • A confirmed positive drug test is considered conclusive presumption of impairment by illegal drugs. If the employer complies with Alabama’s unemployment law regarding the operation of a drug-free
      workplace, employees will be disqualified for unemployment compensation if their discharge was
      the result of illegal drug use, refusal to test, or attempts to manipulate the specimen.
    • No compensation shall be allowed for an injury caused by an accident due to the injured employee
      being intoxicated from the use of alcohol or being impaired by illegal drugs. A positive drug test shall
      be a conclusive presumption of impairment resulting from the use of illegal drugs.
  •  Apply the Checklist of Impacting Issues to Research provided by NDS for additional state laws and issues that can relate to and/or impact your operations regarding employee use of marijuana.

Sources

(e.g., Bill Number, Authority)

Sources (e.g., Bill Number, Authority)

Disclaimer

This resource is designed to provide accurate information regarding the subject matter covered. It is provided with the understanding that those involved in the resource are not engaged in rendering legal counsel. If legal advice is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.

Caution

Where there are quotation marks, the language is directly from published law. This information is only a summary of some issues and it will benefit the reader to review the information in context (go to the law) and in relation to other laws (e.g. workers compensation, unemployment law).

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