ASA Central Network

  • 1.  Employee Handbook: Marijuana Use Updates

    Posted 06-16-2021 15:18
    We are in the process of updating our drug-free workplace policy, and I wanted to receive some feedback as to how others are dealing specifically in the case where a drug test might be needed "for cause" when there is a reasonable suspicion that an employee might be under the influence, negatively impacting their work performance.  Here in Illinois, both recreational and prescription use of marijuana is legal, so many clients in IL have removed testing for THC as a requirement for employment; this includes STL. However, we still reserve the right to random drug testing or for reasonable suspicion.  My question basically is how we handle those cases where the employee returns a positive result for marijuana knowing that it can stay in the body for several days after use.  

    Any specific examples provided would be greatly appreciated and thank you in advance for your insights!

    Kind Regards,

    Nichole Barnett
    Director of Organizational Development
    STL Office Solutions Inc.
    Bloomington IL
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  • 2.  RE: Employee Handbook: Marijuana Use Updates

    Posted 06-17-2021 08:41

    Our legal group advised we handle any positive "for cause" marijuana test just as you would a "for cause" ETOH positive.  Even though there is no set level for imparity on Marijuana – if there is suspicion, and they test positive just for marijuana our policy states it is confirmation of imparity while on duty.   We are in the process of removing Marijuana from our pre hire test – LA has not passed recreational legalization YET. 


    We had to have our legal group review and adjust our written policy on this.  It went from a 3 page policy to over 15 pages due to having to add multiple states references etc.    I too would love to hear what others are doing.  


    Angela Totra, MBA,RN, CHP, LBBP

    Director of Nursing

    Advantage Medical Professionals



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  • 3.  RE: Employee Handbook: Marijuana Use Updates

    Posted 06-17-2021 09:23
    Angela we did the same as you; we had legal take a look at it and adjust the verbiage accordingly so that it was in compliance.

    Stacy Casaz CSP,CSC
    Staffing Manager
    Neese Personnel
    Oklahoma City OK
    (405) 942-8551

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  • 4.  RE: Employee Handbook: Marijuana Use Updates

    Posted 07-19-2021 17:35
    Hi Nichole,

    Although employers' obligations and restrictions related to marijuana use vary widely, no law requires employers to allow marijuana use during work hours or to allow an employee to report to work impaired. Employers may continue to maintain drug-free policies at the workplace and discipline employees who use marijuana during working hours or who report to work impaired. However, some states expressly prohibit employee discipline for off-duty use of marijuana.  This legal article does a good job of explaining Illinois' law.

    You may need to develop new drug-testing protocols to detect marijuana intoxication based on behavioral issues and avoid traditional tests that detect metabolites remaining in a person's body for many days after using marijuana (as you've noted), and updating your policies.  For such an effort, I'd recommend working with your outside counsel.  I'd be happy to share a referral if you need one.

    Best, Brittany

    Brittany Sakata
    Associate General Counsel
    American Staffing Association
    Alexandria VA
    (703) 253-2038

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