Medical Marijuana and Employment

Jun 23, 2023 | Employment Law (Employee)

Navigating Employment Laws and Marijuana Cards in Pennsylvania: Impact on Employees Today

Welcome to the Stark Law Group, LLC blog! In this post, we will shed light on the intersection of employment laws and marijuana cards in Pennsylvania, discussing how these factors impact employees in the state today. With the changing landscape surrounding marijuana legalization, it is crucial for both employers and employees to understand the legal framework and their rights and responsibilities. Let’s delve into the key aspects and implications of this evolving issue.

Marijuana Legalization in Pennsylvania:
Pennsylvania has taken significant steps towards the legalization of medical marijuana. The Medical Marijuana Act, signed into law in 2016, allows individuals with qualifying medical conditions to obtain medical marijuana cards. This has created new considerations for employers, employees, and the workplace environment.

Employment Laws and Marijuana Cardholders:
While medical marijuana is legal in Pennsylvania, it is important to recognize that the legalization does not grant unrestricted rights to employees who hold marijuana cards. Employers retain certain rights and obligations to ensure a safe and productive work environment. Here are some key points to consider:

1. Employee Protections:
The Medical Marijuana Act in Pennsylvania provides limited employment protections for medical marijuana cardholders. Employees with valid medical marijuana cards are protected from discrimination and adverse employment actions solely based on their status as cardholders, as long as they do not violate their employer’s policies regarding drug use in the workplace.

2. Zero-Tolerance Policies:

Pennsylvania employers can enforce zero-tolerance policies regarding drug use and impairment in the workplace. Employers have the right to maintain drug-free workplaces, and employees are expected to adhere to these policies, even if they hold valid medical marijuana cards.

3. Reasonable Accommodations:
Under Pennsylvania law, employers may be required to provide reasonable accommodations for employees who are medical marijuana cardholders. However, this requirement is not absolute and is subject to certain limitations. Employers are not required to accommodate marijuana use or impairment during work hours or on company premises, particularly if it would impact safety, performance, or federal contractual obligations.

4. Workplace Safety:

Ensuring workplace safety remains a top priority for employers. Employees who hold marijuana cards are not permitted to engage in the use or possession of marijuana during working hours, especially in safety-sensitive positions where impairment could jeopardize the well-being of themselves or others.

Employee Rights and Responsibilities:

Employees who hold medical marijuana cards should familiarize themselves with the following rights and responsibilities:

1. Confidentiality: Employees are generally not obligated to disclose their medical marijuana cardholder status unless required by their employer’s policies or in specific circumstances, such as a drug test.

2. Workplace Policies:
 Employees should carefully review their employer’s policies regarding drug use and understand the consequences of violating those policies.

3. Open Communication: It is beneficial for employees to communicate openly with their employers about their medical marijuana cardholder status, particularly if they require reasonable accommodations. Discussing the issue in a professional and respectful manner can help foster understanding and facilitate a resolution.

The evolving landscape of marijuana legalization and employment laws in Pennsylvania has introduced new challenges and considerations for employees and employers alike. While medical marijuana cardholders have certain protections, employers also retain the right to maintain safe and productive workplaces. Striking a balance between these interests is crucial to ensure compliance with the law while upholding workplace safety. If you have any specific questions or concerns regarding employment laws and marijuana cards in Pennsylvania, consult an experienced legal professional at Stark Law Group, LLC., for guidance tailored to your situation.

Disclaimer: This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult an attorney to obtain legal guidance pertaining to your specific circumstances.

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