Weed at Work: Should Employers Expand “Alcohol at Work” to Cover Recreational Cannabis?

When drug and alcohol use and impairment are accepted in the workplace, employers tend to witness increased absenteeism, mistakes, sexual harassment, workplace violence, and accidents/injuries. Insurance policies also often contain exclusions for certain claims if the employee that created the issue had been consuming alcohol at work. Even so, there seems to be a distinct trend of some collaborative and creative workplaces to expand access to alcohol in the workplace, but it is important for these businesses to clearly define policies specific to a variety of safety and other issues that could result from the use of alcohol. Marijuana remains unlawful under federal law and employers have the right to prohibit its possession, use, and impairment in the workplace, but some businesses are considering relaxing policies in an effort to attract newer generations of workers. Several considerations include the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s “general duty clause” and the use of cannabis for those employed in safety-sensitive positions.


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Post By Ken Shafton (2,354 Posts)