Employers In Minnesota Should Review Policies Before Pot Legalization

The law specifically prohibits discrimination in employment for those participating in the medical marijuana registry. In general, an employer may not discriminate against a person at any employment stage based on the persons status as a patient enrolled in the registry program or a patients positive drug test for cannabis components unless the patient used, possessed or was impaired by medical cannabis on the premises of the place of employment or during the hours of employment.

Employers should expect employees to seek protection under this language. The state anti-discrimination language also creates a Catch-22 because while an employee may not have a claim for discrimination based on a disability under the ADA in Minnesota, he or she may have a claim for discrimination based on the states laws governing medical marijuana use.

Next steps for employers

While case law is evolving, Minnesota employers should take time to review and perhaps revise workplace drug policies and other relevant contracts. First, if employing someone using marijuana at your company would cause undue hardship including the loss of monetary or licensing benefits from the government, the Minnesota law allows employers to terminate or refuse to hire people enrolled in the registry program or who have positive drug tests.

Second, drug tests do not need to be eliminated or ignored. However, positive tests for marijuana will have to be addressed on a case-by-case basis. While the law does not require employers to permit an employee to be under the influence of marijuana while at work, it is possible the medication will appear in a drug screen without resulting in on-the-job impairment.

If an employee tests positive for marijuana and can show they are a registered medical marijuana patient, job termination or other adverse actions will generally be prohibited. Also, given that medical marijuana is a known treatment for several disabling conditions, a drug policy that screens out disabled persons could be problematic.

To read more, visit http://www.startribune.com/business/299416881.html

Posted in: News

Comments are closed.