With marijuana becoming legal in more states by the month, employers are facing new challenges regarding marijuana in the workplace. Employees often feel that it’s their right to use legal medical or recreational cannabis and while they’re free to do so outside the workplace, it’s up to the employer to set restrictions at work.
How Marijuana Impacts Safety
Ultimately, marijuana contains a psychoactive compound that can interfere in your employees’ ability to handle equipment or perform their jobs safely. It also disrupts your employees’ concentration, making them more easily distracted. When they’re distracted, it hurts your business’s bottom line, but it also increases the likelihood of work-related injuries.
What Are Your Rights as an Employer?
Legal marijuana laws vary from state, but your rights as an employer are consistent. As an employer, you’re in charge of keeping your employees safe while they’re at work and doing what you can to mitigate the risks they face in the course of their duties. This means you’re entitled to bar the use of medical and recreational cannabis during work hours. These are a few things you’re permitted to do:
- Send employees that show up to work high back home
- Write up employees that use cannabis at work
- Fire employees for violating safety rules
- Screen prospective employees for drug use prior to hiring them
Familiarize yourself with the laws in your state, but always put your employees and your business’s safety first.