Grappling with the maze of marijuana laws and your company policy? On this episode, Bill Judge of Drug Screening Compliance Institute talks about considerations for employers to create and enforce drug-testing policies that are consistent with the laws in all of the states in which they operate – as well as best practices for addressing safety-sensitive roles.
William J. Judge, JD, LL.M.
Drug Screening Compliance Institute
At the federal level, marijuana is listed as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act. Many federal contractors and all federal grantees are required by law to establish and maintain a drug-free workplace policy. In addition, some federal agencies have rules in place for specific industries/occupations that require employers to have drug testing programs. For example, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have adopted drug testing rules for certain drivers. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides guidance to employers on how to implement drug-free workplaces that will comply with federal laws.
States are continuing to legalize marijuana, either for medical use, recreational use, or both. Here are maps of where things currently stand in September 2022. State laws may dictate how (and to what extent) employers can do pre-employment screenings, drug testing, or make employment decisions based on an employee’s drug use.
Many employers choose to drug test employees because of safety-sensitive positions, reductions in rates for workers’ compensation insurance, or to ensure that their employees are not impaired on the job. It is particularly important that construction companies review current policies and evaluate the need for changes – based on evolving marijuana laws and to ensure employee safety and reduce company risk.