Vermont - 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

  • Public and private employers must follow Vermont’s mandatory drug testing laws which are very detailed and stringent. These laws include requirements, such as probable cause testing, required referral to rehabilitation for a positive test, and having an Employee Assistance Program or like service, if an employer wants to do drug testing. Employers in violation are subject to civil penalties.
  • Employers are not required to accommodate use and may regulate or prohibit use and possession at the workplace.
  • Employers are protected against suit by a terminated employee for violating a policy that restricts or prohibits employee use of marijuana. This would suggest that if an employer is doing permissible drug testing, and if a positive test is in violation of an established policy, the law would not prevent the employer from taking action – as long as consequences remain in compliance with the drug-testing laws.
  • An employee is not exempt from being arrested or prosecuted for using or being under the influence of marijuana while operating a motor vehicle, boat or other named vessels; in a workplace; or while operating heavy machinery or handling dangerous instruments.
  • Public and private employers must follow Vermont’s mandatory drug testing laws which are very detailed and stringent. These laws include requirements, such as probable cause testing, required referral to rehabilitation for a positive test, and having an Employee Assistance Program or like service, if an employer wants to do drug testing. Employers in violation are subject to civil penalties.

Testing

  • Public and private employers must follow Vermont’s mandatory drug testing laws which are very detailed and stringent (i.e., prohibits random testing).

Hiring/Termination

  • See Significant above.

Discipline

  • See Significant above.

Use/Possession

  • Smoking is permissible but not in any public place, including a workplace.

Other Impacting Laws

(e.g., drug testing, workers’ compensation, unemployment)
  • There is no requirement for coverage or reimbursement by health insurers as defined in Vermont’s medical marijuana law, any insurance company regulated under Title 8, an employer, or workers’ compensation for medical marijuana or use of it.
  • Unemployment and workers’ compensation laws support denial of claims where intoxication is the cause.
  • 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)
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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