How Does Legal Marijuana Impact the Workplace?

drug safety

Legal Marijuana Laws

Employers may find it difficult to have a drug-free workplace because of the spread of marijuana legalization. Whether the test is given pre-employment, random, or post-accident, it is important to know how to handle a sensitive situation without confrontation. As an employer, what steps do you have to take if an employee fails a drug test?

Although marijuana is legal in California, it still is an illegal substance on a federal level. As a result, employers have the right to test for illegal substances, even the states where marijuana is legal.

It is important to understand why most employers drug test — to keep everyone in the workplace safe and healthy. Drug testing increases productivity in the workplace, decreases the number of injuries, and protects you, the employer, against workers’ compensation claims.


Medical Marijuana

drug screen marijuana

California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996.

In 2008, the California Supreme Court finalized that employers may terminate employees for off-work marijuana use, despite medicinal reasons. Nevertheless, a lot has changed since then.

In 2018, California voters have passed the law in favor of legalizing marijuana for recreational use. However, employers still have the right to enforce a zero-tolerance drug policy in the workplace.



Assembly Bill 2069

As of recent, the workplace impact of legal marijuana in California is changing.  Assembly Bill 2069 (AB 2069) was introduced to add a new class of protected persons to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act: medical marijuana cardholders. This new bill will prevent employers from discriminating against workers “on the basis of his or her status as, or positive drug test for marijuana by a qualified patient or person with an identification card.”



Steps to Take After a Failed marijuana Drug Test

drug test marijuana

Drug testing for marijuana poses unusual challenges for employees. Marijuana can show up in urine or saliva tests several days after use. And depending on your usage, THC metabolites can remain in your urine for weeks at a time.

You have a few options to consider if your employee fails a drug test. If it was a pre-employment test, the employer can decide to not hire the prospective employee. If a current employee tests positive, the employer has the right to terminate them.  Under current laws, an employee may not take legal action against an employer who terminates them for failing a marijuana drug test.


Contact Us

When it comes to your employees, you need a top-performing team to ensure an overall efficient workforce. Set up an account with A&C Urgent Care to start drug testing your employees today. Drug tests start at $35.


Here at A&C Urgent Care, our goal is to provide information for the overall health and longevity of our patients and our community. Preventing disease is as important for us as being there for you when you need medical care. Please visit the rest of our website to familiarize yourself with our services; you never know when you might need urgent care.

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