Marijuana Legalization: Insurance and Risk Management Perspectives for Employers
Employers must stay current on evolving legal developments and balance several changes to longstanding laws with their need to maintain safe and drug-free workplaces.
To date, the law has favored employers seeking to prohibit the use of marijuana and other drugs in the workplace. Legislation in many states specifically permits employers to terminate employees following positive drug tests, and federal employment laws do not protect or allow for the use of medical marijuana in the workplace.
Several US states have enacted laws legalizing marijuana for medical and, in some cases, recreational use. Employers must balance these recent changes to longstanding laws with their desire to maintain safe and drug-free workplaces. Legislation and recent court rulings generally support employers’ rights to keep marijuana out of the workplace, with some limits. As case law in this area evolves, risk professionals should stay abreast of developments, review existing workplace policies, and handle carefully any workers’ compensation or other insurance claims in which marijuana use may be a factor.
In "Marijuana Legalization: Insurance and Risk Management Perspectives for Employers," we provide an update on the legal status of marijuana and discuss several insurance coverage and workplace safety issues related to the legalization of the drug.
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