I have a Legal cannabis business, but what does that mean for me with regard to California labor and employment law? Basically, it means that as a California cannabis business operator you need to be knowledgeable of current employment laws and the best way to be certain you remain up to date and in compliance is to hire a cannabis business employment attorney. There are numerous scenarios, for example, involving breaks, lunches, and overtime which have the potential for the filing of (successful) employment lawsuits. Many cannabis business operators may not have not given much thought to the potentially catastrophic financial blow such lawsuits could bring to their business. Cannabis business attorneys recommend that there be policy manuals and rules in place, along with other legal safe guards to help guard against and possibly prevent a claim or lawsuit against your cannabis business.
What does this mean in California: Even though medical marijuana is approved, employees cannot come to work “high”. You as the employer must have workplace policies in place and guidelines that must be followed. Why? Because even the most trusted employees may take you to the labor board regardless of how loyal you believe them to be. Remember: Marijuana, federally is still illegal and all California employment laws must be followed regardless.
If I use recreational cannabis at home is it possible to be fired from my job even if I have a medical marijuana recommendation for medical purposes?
Yes, cannabis is the same as drinking alcohol on the job. Cannabis can stay in the employee’s system for a very long time. Therefore, you would not pass a drug test and you could very well be fired. The laws apply to everyone because the laws are set to determine what constitutes what is “high” and the same laws apply to driving as it does to working “high” at the work place. The laws are the same even with a medical marijuana recommendation.
Cannabis Businesses and Current Court Decisions
At this point in the law, courts have favored employer’s because of safety and work related concentration issues. And the reason is: pot remains illegal under federal law. The rulings are the same in California, Washington and Montana. The courts do not uphold the use of medical marijuana at the workplace because it hampers and employee’s ability to concentrate on the job.
Whereas some employers can tolerate medical marijuana at the workplace, some cannot because of the nature of the job and the need for the employee to be able to act quickly and be able to concentrate on the matters at hand that the job requires such as operating a vehicle or flying a plane.
For companies with positions that don’t necessarily require operating heavy machinery, driving, etc such as perhaps some hotel worker jobs they are considering programs to accept medicinal marijuana in the workplace for those who have chronic pain or such things as anxiety and other disorders.
Cannabis Business Employment Law Questions?
If you have questions regarding labor and employment laws and your California cannabis business, contact Canna Legal at our Santa Rosa office to schedule a meeting.