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Despite New Laws, Recreational Marijuana Use and the Workplace Don’t Mix!

Recently California voted to make marijuana legal for recreational use following states like Washington and Colorado. Not only that but a bill recently introduced to congress may make marijuana legal under federal law as well.

While the drug may be legal to use at home, that does not mean it is legal to use at work. In fact, a recent Colorado supreme court case solidified adverse action for off duty drug use.

The best way to ensure your work place, and your employees are safe is to use preventative measures like pre-employment screening and drug testing. Creating a company policy that offers conditional employment pending a drug test is a great way to make sure you hire the best. This allows you to screen for candidates that may use regularly and will also deter habitual users from applying all together.

Another great way to make sure your business stays marijuana free is to educate yourself, your managers, and employees about the law. Many employees may mistakenly believe that the drug now being legal for recreational use means they can be on it at work! Drug free work place policies, informational meetings and posters can help deter this kind of behavior and ensure that your employees know the law.

Random drug screening can help as well but the laws in your state or county may vary on reasons for testing. When deciding this course of action make sure you have a clear and concise drug free work place policy that your employees all understand and have signed.

Using these options together as part of your company strategy is the best option. It is best to solve the issue before it even starts by completing in depth pre-employment background checks for your potential hires. If your employment offers are conditional on passing a pre-employment drug test that will keep recreational users from even starting in your company. This does not mean they will not use later so keeping a consistent and clear drug free work place policy will protect you should they decide to start using after they get hired.

As always, when background checking potential employees you must follow state and federal guidelines. This includes compliance documents, proper procedures for drug testing and proper adverse action procedures should you consider not hiring. These are not optional! FCRA regulations guide how you must notify and what paperwork you must give to potential hires. Failing to follow these regulations and your state regulations can result in lawsuits and large fines! Read about FCRA compliance and how HireSafe’s entirely digital format can help you stay compliant!

*Legal Disclaimer: HireSafe is not a law firm, and does not dispense legal advice. The information provided herein is general business information and is not to be relied upon as legal advice. We encourage you to seek advice from your own legal counsel concerning matters covered in this publication.

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