Medical marijuana laws vary by state and it’s important that employers address the specific laws that pertain to their company and employees when creating a drug testing policy. Each state has its own system of medical marijuana laws, which may or may not include bills that provide explicit employment protections. For example, in California, legislation allows employers the right to terminate an employee who tests positive for marijuana, even if they hold a medical marijuana card. For example: Imagine you have an employee who lives in Arizona but works in California, and the employee has a medical marijuana card in which they use in private. Arizona protects employees from discrimination while holding a medical marijuana card, but in California, an employer may fire employees who test positive for marijuana, even if the use was off-duty and for a medical condition with a valid medical marijuana card. To avoid litigation in this scenario, it would be advisable to treat this employee based on Arizona laws.
It is pertinent for you, as an employer, to have a policy in place for when this occurs and to follow each states' medical marijuana laws accordingly.
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