If one of your advisers bootless a biologic screen, what would you do?
If you’re like a lot of employers, you accept bright procedures on how to respond, decidedly if you abatement beneath federal guidelines.
Now, what would you do if that aforementioned agent al of a sudden flashes a anthology identification agenda issued to him beneath Maine’s new medical marijuana law? Do you chase the aforementioned procedures?
Maine’s new law is about to change all the rules on drugs in the workplace. Abounding of the cadre procedures that businesses accept in abode just went up in smoke with the new law.
Now an agent who is a “qualifying patient” and who has been issued a anthology identification agenda is adequate adjoin antidotal activity for the use of medical marijuana.
In addition, administration cannot debris to appoint and cannot amerce anyone just because they are registered as a condoning patient.
So what are administration declared to do? Is it now adequate to appear to plan stoned?
Well, there is a lot added that we don’t apperceive about the new law than we do, but the abbreviate acknowledgment is, the law does not admittance a being to accomplish any assignment while beneath the influence, and that includes operating a motor vehicle.
So let’s attending at what we apperceive about the law.
To begin, the law does not crave an employer to acquiesce the use of a biologic at plan or admittance an agent to plan beneath the influence. While it may be difficult for a administrator to prove that an agent is impaired, administration can still appeal that advisers are absolutely able to plan afore they address to work.
When faced with an agent you accept is broken and beneath the influence, certificate your findings, focus on appreciable behavior and unless you’re a medical doctor, don’t diagnose. In fact, even if you are a doctor, you adeptness wish to burden in this case, too.
Treat the use of medical marijuana in the aforementioned address that you would accord with added assigned medications that would blemish an employee’s adeptness to cautiously do the job — decidedly if operating alarming equipment. Consistency is the key.
While Maine law allows the use of medical marijuana, it is still actionable beneath federal law. As a result, administration will accept to accord with agent situations differently, decidedly if faced with federal government mandates.
As an example, administration who abatement beneath federal guidelines, such as the federal Department of Transportation rules, accept to still chase their rules including the testing mandates. As a result, any artisan who tests absolute for drugs, including marijuana, cannot address to duty, abide on assignment or accomplish safety-sensitive functions.
In addition, the employer may not admittance the artisan to accomplish any safety-sensitive functions until the artisan has a actuality analysis advertence a abrogating result.
However, it is not bright what administration can do next.
Sending an agent to rehabilitation would be the next analytic step, but how do you adjust anyone who has been medically assigned the drug? Termination may aswell be out. So what should administration do?
Since federal guidelines do not acquiesce an agent to resume driving, for example, with a absolute biologic awning and back marijuana stays in the body’s arrangement for weeks, administration may be affected to abode an agent on medical leave until he gets a abrogating analysis result.
Employers will charge advice from the Legislature or the courts on this and should argue with a advocate in the interim.
Employers may acquisition themselves in a difficult atom — bent amid a new law legalizing, in bound situations, what is actionable beneath federal and in a lot of accompaniment laws. And what complicates it more, advice from the accompaniment is apathetic in coming. After it, administration may accept to delay for the courts — and no one wants to be the analysis case.
In the interim, administration still accept to run their businesses and should put procedures in abode for ambidextrous with advisers who are accustomed medical marijuana. In addition, administration should abide to chase federal requirements including the allowable testing.
However, do not abolish advisers who analysis absolute after consulting acknowledged admonition first. Accede putting these advisers on medical leave. And if you currently accept a state-approved biologic testing policy, accede excluding the testing of medical marijuana.
Educate your managers and admiral on the changes in the law so they can appropriately handle these agent situations. And finally, argue with your advocate afore demography any adverse accomplishments with an broken agent or those who analysis absolute on a biologic screen.
There is a lot we still don’t apperceive about Maine’s new medical marijuana law.
We are in alien territory, and it is safe to say that it is alone a amount of time afore abounding administration will be faced with an agent who is accurately application marijuana.
Take what accomplish you can to adapt now, including afterlight your behavior and procedures and training your managers and supervisors. In the abbreviate term, ambidextrous with this new law is traveling to complicate managing your plan force.