Page 17 - Ohio Vol 5 No 2
P. 17

MEDICAL MARIJUANA AND THE WORKPLACE
Under Ohio’s medical marijuana law, employers need not accommodate a job applicant’s or employee’s use, possession, distribution, being under the in uence of or testing positive for medical marijuana. Ohio employers can discharge, discipline, refuse to hire and take any other adverse employment action against an applicant or employee because of the applicant’s or employee’s use, possession, distribution, being under the in uence of or testing positive for medical marijuana.  erefore, for Ohio employers who maintain a zero- tolerance policy, medical marijuana users will be faced with a choice of not using medical marijuana or working elsewhere.
On the other hand, as Ohio employers begin to see more applicants and employees who are lawfully using medical marijuana, some employers may decide, as a practical business matter, to make an exception for speci c o -the-
job and o -premises use of medical marijuana. Ohio’s law gives employers that  exibility.
 is means that Ohio employers must decide whether to make an exception for medical marijuana use or not. For Ohio employers who wish to maintain a zero-tolerance policy, they should consider reviewing the company’s drug-free workplace policy.  e policy should clearly state that marijuana is an illegal drug under federal law and that the employer prohibits its applicants and employees from using any form of marijuana for any purpose, including for medical use, even as allowed under Ohio or any state’s law.  e policy should also prohibit illegal drug possession, use, distribution, being under the in uence or testing positive regardless of where or when the use occurs, instead of simply prohibiting illegal drug possession, use, etc., “only at work,” “during work hours” or “on the premises.” Finally, the policy should de ne illegal drugs to include all drugs that are illegal
under “federal, state or local law.”
For Ohio employers who decide to make an exception for lawful and speci ed use of medical marijuana, these employers, too, need to review and revise their existing policy to include the exception. But there are various legal and practical issues that will still need to be weighed and decided.  erefore, it is recommended that the employer engage an attorney with legal and dra ing experience in
this developing area of the law.
JULIA R. BAXTER HAS SERVED AS DIREC- TOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES FOR THE CITY OF HILLIARD SINCE 2017. KEVIN GRIFFITH IS AN OFFICE MANAGING SHAREHOLDER WITH LITTLER MENDELSON P.C. WHERE HE PRACTICES PRIMARILY IN THE AREAS OF BUSINESS COMPETITION LITIGATION AND EMPLOYMENT LITIGATION.
in 2017 and 2018
AttorneyAtLawMagazine.com
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