The Rise of Recreational and Medicinal Marijuana Use in California Public Workplaces




The Rise of Recreational and Medicinal Marijuana Use in California Public Workplaces: Concrete HR Strategies to Cope with Challenges and Legal Risks in Hiring, Performance & Productivity, Lost Time & Injuries, Accommodations and Leaves

Join Patti Eyres, Managing Partner at Eyres Law, as she provides an update on laws and policy as they regard Marijuana in the workplace.

 It has been two years since California voters approved Prop 64 to decriminalize adult recreational use of marijuana. The number of people testing positive for marijuana in workplace drug tests is exploding, particularly in public safety jobs. Many employees and job applicants assume that inhaling or ingesting marijuana products is “legal” in all aspects of California life, both outside and inside the workplace. Others believe that if a health care professional prescribes marijuana to treat a medical condition or disability, they have the right to take prescribed dosages before or during their shifts, and to bypass otherwise applicable mandatory drug testing. This creates significant challenges for HR professionals, Risk Managers and front-line leaders.

In fact, California law expressly authorizes employers to enact and enforce zero-tolerance drug policies and to discipline employees who fail drug tests. Likewise, strong precedent from the California Supreme Court specifically states that reasonable accommodations are not required for medicinal marijuana patients (although a timely, good faith, and individualized interactive process is required to evaluate accommodations for functional limitations from the underlying disability for which the prescription is issued).
This webinar will provide clear, up to date, and practical strategies for addressing an array of issues confronting employers and their HR professionals. These include:

1.    Practicalities: Safety, productivity, increases in healthcare costs, impact on industrial injury claims, and how to cope with an explosion of positive drug screens;

2.    Legalities: Exposure to legal claims and limited defenses, requests for reasonable accommodation, avoiding disability exposures while declining to accommodate medicinal marijuana users, dealing with discipline and due process, and more.

Examples of Topics (non-inclusive list):

  • Coping with an explosion of marijuana usage – Positive drug tests -- by employees in safety-sensitive jobs;
  • Addressing the rapid rise in medical professionals’ recommending patients with chronic pain use CBD oil, and identifying potential impacts in the workplace and for positive drug tests;
  • Compliance requirements with state and local laws when conducting drug testing, and how to consistently address failed tests; 
  • Practical strategies for preventing the sale, transfer, distribution, or storage of marijuana on your entity’s premises, including employee vehicles in parking lots;
  • Impact of recreational marijuana usage on attendance, punctuality, and productivity and what to do about it;
  • Enforcing your reasonable accommodation process; how to separate the prescribed medication from the underlying disability,  and why it is so critical to prevent disability discrimination claims;
  • What to do about employees who self-disclose that they have a valid prescription but represent they need it only in off duty hours (to relieve pain and facilitate sleep)
  • How to handle disclosures (staff disclosures) about a colleague or manager’s abuse of marijuana at work;
  • Legal exposure to members of the public by an employee’s improper use of marijuana on the job – impact on auto liability, general liability, premises liability, and more;
  • How to investigate and discipline “drug dealing activities” in your workplace, due to transfer, sale, or order-taking in the office and the field;
  • Impact of both recreational and medicinal marijuana usage on random drug testing under DOT protocols – what’s legal and what’s not;
  • Impact of chronic recreational usage on medical insurance costs and industrial injury claims;
  • Delivering discipline within due process guidelines;
  • Why updated job descriptions is critical for safety-sensitive positions to include a "no drug" policy; 
  • How to establish a "Drug Free Workplace" policy, with consistent and rigorous enforcement;
  • Tips for enforcing "no-smoking" policies (tobacco and cannabis) in the workplace.

Need More Info or Help?
We hope you can join us, feel free to contact Doug McGill for more details.

Phone: 916-850-7300

Wednesday, April 17, 2019
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Webinar Location:
EIA TV - EPL & Liability