Medical marijuana in the workplaceMarijuana is an effective treatment for the symptoms caused by many medical conditions, including cancer, Crohn’s disease, anxiety, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, and Tourette syndrome. If you have been prescribed marijuana and have experienced the relief it can bring to patients who have suffered for years without an effective treatment, you know how important it is that you be able to use it when you need it—even when you are at work. Thanks to the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act of 2019, your New Jersey employer must allow you to use medical cannabis while you are at work.

What the New Law Says

While the previous law expressly stated that employers could not be required to accommodate the medical use of marijuana in the workplace, the new law prohibits employers from taking adverse actions against an employee who tests positive for marijuana and is a registered patient with the Cannabis Regulatory Commission. The law also establishes a procedure that the employer must follow if an employee or prospective employee tests positive for marijuana:

  1. The employer must inform the employee of their right to provide a valid medical explanation for the positive result.
  2. The employee must be given at least three working days to present a valid medical explanation for the result. Valid explanations include a note from a doctor authorizing the use of medical cannabis or proof of registration with the Cannabis Regulatory Commission.

What to Do If You Suffer Adverse Action for Failing a Marijuana Drug Test

If you are not provided with an opportunity to explain a positive drug test, or you have satisfied the requirement but still suffer an adverse action, you can hold your employer accountable. While most people think of being fired as the likely outcome of a positive drug test, other prohibited actions include:

  • Refusing to hire a new employee based on the drug test
  • Forcing an employee to retire
  • Demoting an employee
  • Docking or reducing pay
  • Moving the employee to a less desirable position or location
  • Discriminating against the employee in any other way

Our Employment Law Team Can Help

If you are a registered medical marijuana user and have suffered discrimination or other adverse action at work in New Jersey, contact Steinberg Law. We have some of the strongest protections for workers in the country, and our team will make sure your employer follows the law.

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