Increasing concerns about marijuana in the workplace

Legalized marijuana raising issues in the workplace
Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 7:39 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NEWINGTON, CT (WFSB) - Now that cannabis is legal in Connecticut, it is creating an issue in the workplace.

The issues range from challenging workplace drug testing to the rights of employees to live within the law.

However, the sale of recreational marijuana is posing a real conundrum for employers according to employment attorney Nick Zaino.

Zaino said, “employers have been calling asking about their rights and obligations.”

Nick Zaino is an attorney and partner with Carmody Torrance Sandak & Hennessey LLP.

He says employers need to establish rules for employees particularly inside the workplace.

“Employers always continue to have the right to prohibit employees for being under the influence of marijuana, possessing marijuana, or using at work with the exception for medical purposes,” Zaino said. “They are allowed to possess it.”

When it comes to legalized weed, it’s clear you’re not going to be able to use weed at work just like you can’t show up to work drunk.

Zaino said, “the big difference with alcohol is that there is a test to determine present intoxication or present influence; however, with drugs and marijuana specifically there is not.”

Companies are seeking advice making sure they can uphold zero tolerance policies.

Experts say there should be clear communication with employees and training for human resources.

Attorney Joseph Mortelliti said, “this is a very evolving area of the law.”

Joseph Mortelliti, an attorney with Cramer and Anderson, warns that even though there may not be a test employers can ascertain whether someone is under the influence at work.

“If you have a reasonable suspicion in the workplace that they may be affected by marijuana in some way, then employers can take adverse action,” Mortelliti said.

The best advice for employees is to be smart and play it safe.

Mortelliti said, “there are limitations on when you can and cannot use that substance.”

It’s hard to measure impairment aside from noticing the signs and symptoms.

It’s just another aspect of how the cannabis industry works according to dispensary pharmacist at Fine Fettle.

Rosiclair said, “It’s going to continue to grow, and we will definitely see more and more customers.”

Recreational marijuana sales are changing not just the culture but the workplace too.