Where There’s Smoke, Should There Be Fire? An Analysis of Employer Termination Rights for Employee Off-Duty Marijuana Use

Source: Debra Urteaga, Employee Benefit Plan Review, Vol. 70 no. 1, July 2015
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With the recent increase in the number of states that have “legalized” or decriminalized some form of marijuana use, more and more employers have asked themselves whether it continues to be permissible to terminate employees who use marijuana off-duty. The simple answer is “yes,” but whether or not an employee has any form of protection depends on the particular state in which the employee works. Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia currently have laws permitting the use of medical marijuana under certain circumstances, but only nine of these states (Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, and Rhode Island) provide any employment protections for marijuana users.Still, under federal law, marijuana is and remains an illegal drug, meaning that any state protection regarding an employee’s marijuana use may be merely illusory or, at best, temporary, until federal law is amended to say otherwise…
Related version:
Where There’s Smoke, Should There Be Fire? An Analysis Of Employer Termination Rights For Employee Off-Duty Marijuana Use
Source: Debra Urteaga, Employment Law Commentary, Volume 27, Issue 7, July 2015