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Employee’s Rights Unchanged by Legalization

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While marijuana is legal in twenty-nine states, there has been little action to change employee’s rights regarding to marijuana laws.

Recently, AutoNation, an auto-dealer chain has eased its rule on marijuana usage in the workplace, by not discriminating against employees or applicants who are consuming marijuana.

“If you tested positive for marijuana, you couldn’t join our company,” said Chief Executive Officer Mike Jackson of Autonation to Bloomberg, “You know what? That’s wrong.”

Unfortunately, not all employers have that attitude.

Even in California, a law enforced in 2008, gives employers the right to enforce anti-drug policies and reject candidates that tested positive for medical marijuana use. The law has not been updated to change with the times, according to Los Angeles Times.

Only one law seems to protect employees, the “Americans with Disabilities Act” (ADA) which does not protect an individual who is engaged in the illegal use of drugs, but may protect “a recovered drug addict who is no longer engaging in the illegal use of drugs,” reports HR Dive.

ADA does not do much to give rights to marijuana users in the workplace given that marijuana is illegal under federal law.

However, according to HR Drive, there have been lawsuits from employees taking medical marijuana. One case occurred when a woman was fired after one day of work, when failing a pre-screening drug test.  She filed a lawsuit alleging that the employer failed to be concerned that she had Crohn’s disease, refusing her employment, although she used the drug outside the workplace.

Still, in Florida, employers do not have to change their present policies and procedures to accommodate employees seeking to use medical marijuana, reports The Ledger. It is crucial to observe, that until federal law is amended to exclude medical marijuana as an illegal substance, employees might not get the justice they deserve.

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