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Getting into the Legality of Legalization in the Workplace

In the past, an employee or applicant could be “denied a job or fired for using cannabis in their free time, even if the employee is never impaired at work.” However, recent legislation indicates that these policies are likely to change in states where recreational marijuana is legalized.

While a few specific sectors such as federal jobs require cannabis testing, other companies must decide whether or not to test their workers for marijuana use. Currently, “is no comprehensive federal law that regulates drug testing for most jobs in the private sector, and private-sector employers are free to decide whether, and under what circumstances, to administer drug tests for most job positions.”

This means that drug testing procedures vastly differ business to business. Companies can choose to test workers while hiring, randomly, or targeted, if they have reason to assume workers are impaired in the workplace. Because there is currently “no comprehensive federal drug testing law for most jobs,” state regulation occasionally conflicts. For example, “[s]ome limit testing to "reasonable suspicion" or "probable cause" situations” while “[o]thers explicitly authorize random testing under certain circumstances.” Companies must continue to stay up to date on state laws regarding workplace impairment testing.

As discussed in a previous blog post, some states such as California, have taken the approach to protect marijuana use outside of the workplace. These states simply require employees not be impaired at the workplace, as stated by California’s new statute which will take effect January 1, 2024. This law requires employers to test for the “presence of active THC, or alternatively, ‘impairment tests, which measure individual employees against their own baseline performance,’ to determine if workers are impaired.” These baseline impairment tests are describing the capabilities of Otorize’s impairment test.

Because these laws are so complex and vary so much, many employers will opt to stop marijuana testing. However, many workplaces will continue to test for impairment in order to keep a high caliber of work, employee satisfaction, and safe workplace for all.

Businesses hoping to test for current impairment can utilize Otorize’s scientifically proven test, which tests for impairment based on a baseline test. This test delivers instant results, is non-invasive, and very cost effective. As laws continue to evolve regarding workplace impairment, Otorize is an easy, accessible tool for all businesses to employ.



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