Medical Marijuana & Safety: Do You Know the Ropes?
By the end of 2018, 33 states and DC had legalized medical marijuana use for qualifying patients, resulting in new uses for workers, some of which are protected under the ADA. OSHA also entered the compliance mix, releasing a new policy on drug testing of injured workers.
Understanding the evolving case law, which now offers more protection of workers and places burdens on employers to justify “zero tolerance” approaches, is critical to keeping a workplace safe. In addition to a company’s own employees, the increasing use of third party workers (temporaries, contractors, and day laborers) can also present challenges in maintaining a drug-free workplace.
This program will explore the various ramifications of medical marijuana legalization from a workplace safety perspective and will also address the interlocking HR issues.
- Which states allow legal medical marijuana, how these statutes can differ in terms of worker protections and how they are interpreted under the evolving case law
- Changes OSHA has made to its e-Recordkeeping rule’s provisions affecting post-injury drug testing, and how OSHA also views drug use under its General Duty Clause
- How the ADA’s “direct threat to safety” defense must be balanced against a reasonable accommodation of employees who are using medical marijuana
- New developments in determining “impairment” and what it means for “reasonable suspicion” testing programs
- How to design an effective substance abuse prevention program that will not end up in court
Adele Abrams, Esq., CMSP
Firm President and certified mine Safety Professional Law Firm of Adele L. Abrams P.C.
Adele Abrams, Esq., CMSP, is an attorney, safety professional, and firm president of the Law Offices of Adele L. Abrams P.C. who is recognized as a national expert on occupational safety and health. Ms. Abrams heads a multi-attorney firm with offices in the DC area, Denver, and West Virginia, which represents employers and contractors nationwide in OSHA and MSHA litigation, and provides safety and health training, auditing, and consultation services. She is a Certified Mine Safety Professional and a Department of Labor–approved trainer. Ms. Abrams is on the adjunct faculty of Catholic University in Washington, DC, where she teaches employment and labor law.
Ms. Abrams is also a professional member of the American Society of Safety Engineers and is co-author of several safety-related textbooks. She is chair of the National Safety Council’s Business & Industry Division committee on regulatory and legal affairs. She is admitted to the Bars of MD, DC, and PA, as well as multiple federal courts, including the US Supreme Court.