Marijuana at Work

Marijuana Legislation and Its Impact on Company Policies

With multiple states legalizing the use of marijuana for recreational purposes, the impact of these new  laws on HR for small business is often pondered. Just because marijuana has been legalized, however, doesn’t mean that you need to change your workplace policies regarding intoxication. Where marijuana is legalized, it should be considered in the same classification as alcohol for employee conduct.

If your policies prohibit alcohol and drug use without a doctor’s order, then this will still include the use of marijuana. Many policies, however, only prohibit “illegal” drugs. That wording must be addressed in states where marijuana has been legalized.

Some small businesses do offer beer or wine for their employees on Fridays or at special events. If this describes your business, then you may need to alter the policies and procedures to specifically exclude marijuana use while on the job if necessary.

What About the Use of Medical Marijuana?

Recreational marijuana is much easier to address than medical marijuana. Although the use of medical marijuana may be an effective treatment for an employee’s underlying disability, medical marijuana use while on the job is not a required accommodation. You will not generally be allowed to terminate an employee because of a positive drug test in these circumstances, but you do not need to tolerate impairment on the job because of a disability either.

When it comes to HR for small business, employers still can disallow marijuana use during work hours or while on the premises. Every jurisdiction, however, may have unique factors that could change how you approach this drug.

Do you have questions about marijuana and how it could affect your business? Then contact HR Business Partners, a Minneapolis based HR consulting firm, with knowledge and experience in the field of small business HR, and human resources outsourcing.