- Because of the New Jersey’s recreational marijuana law:
it is recommended that an employer seek counsel from an informed state-specific attorney to learn how to respond to a positive test for marijuana that could have happened off-duty.
Other items of significance:
- Marijuana legal as of Feb. 22, 2021 – law allows the possession and use of marijuana by anyone over 21 years old within the state of New Jersey. Up to 6 ounces of weed is allowed with no penalty is allowed.
- New Jersey law does not prohibit employers from taking adverse action based on test results, more details are in the law. If an employee/applicant tests positive for marijuana, they must be provided written notice of the opportunity to present a “legitimate medical explanation for the positive test result.” They must be given up to three days to submit information to the employer explaining the test result. This includes the option to submit the original sample for a confirmatory retest at the employee’s expense, or medical marijuana authorization from a health care practitioner or proof of registration with New Jersey’s Cannabis Regulatory Commission, or both. If either of those documents are presented, the employer should seek legal counsel before taking action based on the positive test.
- Employers should be prepared to engage in the interactive process if an employee discloses medical marijuana use outside of the workplace or tests positive for marijuana use. The employer should seek legal counsel before taking action based on the positive test.
- The law protects employers if accommodation would threaten harm or danger, conflict with federal requirements, contracts or funding, or would prevent the employee from fulfilling any of his or her job responsibilities.
- Employers may prohibit or take adverse employment action based on the use or possession of intoxicating substances during work hours or on workplace premises outside of work hours.
- Employers may not take adverse employment action based solely on a medical marijuana patient status.
- Private insurers or governmental assistance programs are not required to reimburse a person of costs associated with the medical use of marijuana. However, in two cases, private employers were required to reimburse an injured worker for medical marijuana.
- Regarding obligations and rights related to drug testing in New Jersey (NJ), give high attention to constitutional privacy issues and NJ case decisions.