Drug Testing & Marijuana Law: Employer's Update

Drug Testing Marijuana Law Employers Update

Let’s dive deep into the changing legal landscape surrounding marijuana use and its implications for employers, particularly in terms of drug testing. We’ll also discuss the expansion of medical and recreational marijuana laws across various states, highlighting how these changes impact employment practices. Additionally, we’ll cover the importance of understanding the nuances in each state’s legislation, especially regarding employee protections and exceptions for safety-sensitive positions.

In a comprehensive session at Day with DISA, Jennifer Mora, Senior Counsel at Seyfarth Shaw, offered her insights into the complex world of drug testing, focusing particularly on marijuana legislation. As a seasoned expert, Jennifer has nearly a decade of experience in advising on background screening issues and marijuana legislation, making her an authoritative voice in this evolving field.

If you didn’t get the opportunity to attend the Day with DISA conference, or if you would like to review this presentation again, you can download or watch it using the link below.

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Key Takeaways:

  • Explosion of Marijuana Legislation: An increasing number of states are passing laws legalizing medical and recreational marijuana use. Employers need to be aware of these changes and understand their implications for drug testing policies.
  • Employment Protections for Medicinal Users: Several jurisdictions have begun to provide employment protections for medicinal marijuana users. It's crucial for employers to understand these protections and how they apply to their workforce.
  • Safety-Sensitive Positions: Certain jurisdictions offer a safety-sensitive exemption, but not all jurisdictions! If the exemption exists, it allows employers to enforce stricter drug testing policies for roles where impairment could lead to serious safety risks.
  • The Challenge of Impairment Detection: No current drug test conclusively proves impairment, particularly for marijuana, posing a significant challenge for employers trying to maintain a safe and compliant workplace.
  • Changing Employer Practices: Trends show a shift in employer practices, with many moving away from testing for THC during pre-employment drug testing, particularly for non-safety-sensitive roles.
  • Navigating Legal Complexities: Employers must navigate a complex legal landscape that varies significantly from state to state, requiring constant updates to policies and practices.

About Day with DISA:

Reflecting on the past, Day with DISA 2024 was an exceptional event, providing a wealth of knowledge and insights into employee screening. The conference, attended by over 4,000 HR and safety professionals this year, successfully transitioned to a mix of in-person and virtual presentations, covering crucial topics like drug and alcohol testing, background checks, and compliance. Looking forward to next year, the conference promises to continue offering valuable insights and networking opportunities for those in employee screening.

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About DISA:

Founded in 1986, DISA stands as the industry-leading provider of employee screening and compliance services. With over 35 offices in North America and Europe, DISA’s comprehensive services include background checks, drug and alcohol testing, occupational health, and transportation compliance, helping employers make informed staffing decisions and fostering a culture of safety in the workplace.

DISA Global Solutions aims to provide accurate and informative content for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The reader retains full responsibility for the use of the information contained herein. Always consult with a professional or legal expert.