The Impact of Marijuana Law on the Workplace
Dec. 5, 2021
New York is among the states where marijuana has been legalized for recreational use. However, different employment laws are being issued to address the possession and use of marijuana in the workplace environment. Recently, the New York State Department of Labor enacted certain laws and guidance which address topics and questions relating to when employers can conduct drug testing, make employment decisions based on drug test results, prohibit marijuana use, or take disciplinary actions based on the use of marijuana.
Here at my firm, Lawrence M. Gordon, Attorney at Law, PC, I'm committed to offering knowledgeable legal guidance and reliable advocacy to employers regarding marijuana laws and other related matters. As an experienced New York State marijuana attorney, I can enlighten you about how the state's marijuana laws affect your workplace, drug testing, drug policies, and discrimination based on marijuana use. My firm is proud to serve clients across Long Island, Bellmore, Suffolk County, and Nassau County, New York.
Discrimination Based on Marijuana Use
Under the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), employers are prohibited from terminating, refusing to hire, employ, or license, or otherwise discriminating against an employee based on their legal use of cannabis outside of the workplace, outside of work hours, and without the use of the employer's equipment or property.
Use of Marijuana During Work Hours
According to Section 201-D of the New York Labor Law, employers may prohibit the use of cannabis during "work hours," which include:
Paid and unpaid breaks and meal periods that the employee is expected to be engaged in work
Any time that the employee is on-call
Any time the employee is actually engaged in work
However, employers are not prohibited from taking disciplinary action against any employee who uses cannabis during work hours or on the employer's property. A skilled attorney can educate you about the laws guiding the use of cannabis during work hours and other workplace policies addressing marijuana use.
Here are some workplace policies addressing the use of cannabis:
Employers cannot prohibit the use of cannabis outside of the workplace unless they are allowed to do so under Section 201-D of the New York Labor Law.
Employers may not require employees to waive their rights to use cannabis as a condition of hire or continued employment.
Should there be any existing workplace policies that prohibit the use of cannabis outside of the workplace, employers are encouraged to update or amend such policies to reflect new changes to New York State marijuana laws.
A knowledgeable attorney can enlighten you about workplace policies addressing marijuana use as well as when you can and cannot conduct drug testing.
Here are some laws addressing drug testing at the workplace:
Unless permitted to do so pursuant to the provisions of Section 201-D of the New York Labor Law or any other applicable laws, an employer is prohibited from testing for cannabis.
An employer can request an employee for a drug test only if federal or state law requires drug testing or makes it a compulsory requirement for such positions. For instance, drug testing is mandatory for commercial drivers.
An experienced marijuana attorney can enlighten you about your rights regarding drug testing and make sure you do not violate employees' rights or labor laws.
Work With a Trusted Marijuana Law Attorney
New York marijuana laws are constantly changing. New employment laws are being enacted to address the use and possession of marijuana at the workplace. Understanding these workplace marijuana laws is crucial to avoid discrimination or improper drug testing and ensure that you do not violate employees' rights regarding marijuana use. A skilled marijuana attorney can educate you about everything you need to know about how New York's marijuana laws affect your place of business.
At Lawrence M. Gordon, Attorney at Law, PC, I have the experience and resources to advise and guide employers and business owners in complex marijuana matters. As your legal counsel, I can enlighten you about the employment laws and regulations addressing the possession and use of marijuana at the workplace. Using my in-depth understanding of New York marijuana laws and workplace marijuana laws, I will craft an effective strategy to help protect your business and employees and remain competitive in both your industry and the global economy.
Contact my firm – Lawrence M. Gordon, Attorney at Law, PC – today to schedule a simple consultation with a skilled marijuana attorney. I can offer you the experienced legal counsel and reliable advocacy you need. My firm proudly serves clients across Long Island, Bellmore, Suffolk County, and Nassau County, New York, as well as the Five Boroughs of New York City.