Presentation discusses medical marijuana in the workplace, laws for employers

Forum teaches employers laws for medical marijuana
Presentation discusses medical marijuana in the workplace, laws for employers
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For many employers in Northeast Oklahoma, the legalization of medical marijuana is impacting what they can.. and can’t do.. regarding employees who use medical marijuana.

Chuck Evans, plant manager at Newell Coach in Miami.. a custom luxury RV manufacturer.. says he has more questions than answers when it comes to medical marijuana.

Chuck Evans, Plant Manager, Newell Coach:”Really, what do we need to make sure we’re compliant with the law?”

Evans was just one of many employers who attended a forum at Northeast Tech Center in Afton that explained just that.

Randall Snapp, Employment Attorney:”The impacts on the workplace and what employers can do to prepare for and how to deal with issues that come up.”

According to employment attorney Randall Snapp, employers can’t discriminate against an employee because they have a medical marijuana card.. and can’t fire an employee just because they tested positive for marijuana on a drug test if they have a card.

What employers can do is terminate if an employee is impaired.

But.. even that isn’t clear.

Snapp:”A test that shows positive does not show you how much marijuana was consumed, it’s not gonna show you when it was consumed, so you’re really gonna be looking at an observable phenomenon, just a subjective determination as to whether the employee is impaired. and that’s gonna be tough.”

Snapp says the best course of action for employers is adjusting hiring policies to catch up with current law, and learning more about how to recognize if someone is under the influence of marijuana.

Snapp:”Make determinations of what kind of standards are going to be used to terminate employees so that you can say it was not because of the license, it was because of what other violation occurred.”

Even with many things still being unclear.. Evans says he plans work on being in compliance as soon as possible.

Evans:”I heard a lot of things that I plan on sharing with my staff so that when we’re going though our hiring and recruiting process, we know what the law says about that right now. And I feel confident we can comply with that.”

Northeast Tech Center is currently planning another presentation to go over how to determine if an employee is impaired on the job.