TBT readers are invited to join Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s upcoming webinar, “High Times in NJ: New Recreational Marijuana Law Limits Employers’ Options to Prevent Impairment.”

Register here

There is no cost to attend, but registration is required.

Thursday, April 8, 2021
1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Eastern
12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Central
11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Mountain
10:00
Continue Reading Upcoming Webinar: High Times in NJ: New Recreational Marijuana Law Limits Employers’ Options to Prevent Impairment

New Jersey recently enacted a law permitting personal, nonmedical use of marijuana for individuals age 21 and over. Separate laws decriminalize marijuana and hashish possession and set out the penalties when individuals under age 21 use or possess marijuana or hashish. Although not immediately enforceable, New Jersey employers should immediately assess the implications of the laws on their current policies


Continue Reading New Jersey Recreational Marijuana Law Provides Significant Employment Protections to Marijuana Users

Employers considering a tolerant attitude towards recreational cannabis in the workplace should consider safety hazards and legal liabilities. 

In the heyday of the two-martini lunch, employers regularly tolerated alcohol in the workplace or employees presumably impaired by alcohol returning to work.  Over the succeeding decades, employers began to concentrate on the business and legal liabilities imposed by drug and alcohol use and impairment in the workplace — including increased absenteeism, mistakes, sexual harassment, workplace violence, and accidents/injuries.  Employers also discovered that their insurance companies claimed exemptions for certain claims if the employee that created the issue had been consuming alcohol at work. As a result, employers largely began to adopt policies that prohibited employees from using or being under the influence of alcohol (and drugs) while at work.  Most employers since have prohibited alcohol and drugs entirely or restricted alcohol to occasional company Christmas parties and social functions.
Continue Reading Weed at Work: Should Employers Expand “Alcohol at Work” to Cover Recreational Cannabis?

The continued efforts of federal, state, and local governments to legalize cannabis, both in medical and recreational uses, leaves many potential impacts, including environmental law and regulatory issues in the manufacturing, processing, and distribution of cannabis products.
Continue Reading Future Enterprises and Environmental Impacts in the Cannabis Industry

Earlier this month, Governor Pritzker signed into law SB 1557, revising the Recreational Cannabis Law to expand permissible marijuana testing and related adverse action.

The Original Legalization Bill As Enacted

The Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (410 ILCS 705) (the “Legalization Act”) legalizes recreational cannabis for Illinois adults starting January 1, 2020. The Legalization Act specifically allows Illinois employers to enforce “reasonable zero tolerance or drug free workplace policies, or employment policies concerning drug testing, smoking, consumption, storage, or use of cannabis in the workplace or while on call provided that the policy is applied in a nondiscriminatory manner.” The Act also permits employers to prohibit employees from being under the influence of or using cannabis in the employer’s workplace or while on call. Further, the Act (i) allows employers to discipline or terminate an employee who violates the employer’s workplace drug policy, and (ii) specifically insulates employers from liability for disciplining or terminating employees based on the employer’s good faith belief that the employee was either impaired at work (as a result of using cannabis) or under the influence of cannabis while at work.
Continue Reading Illinois Amends Recreational Cannabis Law To Protect Drug Testing By Employers

The Illinois General Assembly passed SB 1557, revising the language of the Recreational Cannabis Law to reduce but not completely eliminate employer liabilities.

As we previously blogged, the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (410 ILCS 705) (the “Legalization Act”) will legalize recreational cannabis for Illinois adults starting January 1, 2020. The Legalization Act specifically allows Illinois employers to
Continue Reading Illinois General Assembly Passes Amendments to Recreational Cannabis Law That Help Reduce Employer Liability

The National Safety Council released a policy statement endorsing employer zero-tolerance policies for cannabis use for employees who work in safety-sensitive positions, explaining that no level of cannabis is safe.
Continue Reading National Safety Council Endorses Zero Tolerance Prohibition on Cannabis/Marijuana for Safety-Sensitive Employees

The Western District of New York, in Horn v. Medical Marijuana, Inc., et al., issued an initial procedural order last week in a case where the plaintiff’s purchase and use of the defendant products resulted in a failed drug test that resulted in his employer terminating his employment.  Horn v. Medical Marijuana, Inc., et al. No. 15-cv-701-FPG (W.D.N.Y.)

We
Continue Reading CBD Lawsuit Reflects Trucker Termination for THC Tainted Drug Products

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is expected to sign a comprehensive recreational cannabis bill.  While the “Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act” contains extensive provisions preserving an employer’s right to ban cannabis and otherwise have a “zero tolerance” substance abuse policy, there are potential traps for the unwary and, thus, employers should carefully consider how the new law will impact their existing substance abuse and drug testing policies and procedures. 
Continue Reading Half Baked: Illinois Legislature Includes Some Employer Protections in New Recreational Cannabis Law – But Beware the Traps

The Illinois General Assembly has been working on a marijuana legalization bill this session.  The Senate Bill would protect employer rights to ban marijuana and discipline employees for use.

Across the country, states are moving to legalize medical and recreational marijuana.  In states that legalize recreational marijuana, employers and drug testing services have seen significant increases in positivity rates for marijuana metabolites.  Wider marijuana use will require employers to take action to ensure safe work environments for their employees, especially in safety sensitive settings.  Drug policies must be updated and must address discrimination concerns.  To that end, we are closely monitoring new forms of discrimination claims from medical marijuana users and regarded-as disabled employees.  See our recent blog concerning a related Arizona court decision.
Continue Reading Illinois Marijuana Legislation Update: Senate Bill Would Protect Employers’ Rights