Marijuana is Legal in MA, But A Sober Reality Exists in the Workplace
Boston, MA - Most employers would be appalled if employees showed up to work drunk. Despite the legalization of recreational marijuana in Massachusetts, one must still be sober of it at work, following the standard for most drugs. Eli Sherman wrote an comprehensive article concerning this restriction and this article will summarize the complexities of this issue based on the Eli Sherman's report.
As it stands now, most if not all employers do not seem to have an issue with drug restriction policies and legislation about outlawing such policies do not yet exist. At the start of 2018, the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission decided to leave the testing and the restricting of the use of recreational marijuana up to employers.Therefore, drug restrictions are up to the discretion of employers.
Caution around drug use in the workplace is unsurprising given the reputation most employers must uphold, the standard of safety they must ensure,and the specific state/federal laws they must comply to. Mr. Geehern, the head of about 4,000 Boston-based businesses, suggested that previously listed reasons do in fact justify the need to conduct drug tests.
Not all employers test for drugs, but when it comes to companies that provide transportation or operational services, sobriety is that much more pertinent.
As a result, organizations are reluctant to exclude marijuana from drug test despite the recent shift in laws for the general public.Even a labor and employment lawyer at a Boston-based law firm would concur with the workplace's decision to be safe and continue with drug testing.
Nonetheless, those who use marijuana for medicinal purposes are permitted to continue with appropriate notice to the employer. If fired for medical marijuana use, employees can sue by filing a claim under disability discrimination.
Despite the employers' general rationale for restricting drug use in the workplace, employees are bewildered by the policy considering the legalization of recreational marijuana on the state level. Still, employees are justified in their confusion because most drug tests are able to pick up drug use from several days or even weeks before the test implying that employees would have to be sober even on their days off. Eli Sherman voices a few testimonies of employees who were fired for testing positive for marijuana use despite consuming the drug during their off time. Furthermore, the stigma that comes with getting fired as a result of drug use is severely damaging for a person's employment record and future employment candidacy, making this issue a lot more nuanced at second glance.