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Are employers required to accommodate medical marijuana use?

medical marijuana

In SHRM’s article, Weed at Work: Must Employers Accommodate Medical Use?” they examine workplace accommodations for medical marijuana use.

Under federal law, marijuana use is illegal. But more states are legalizing its usage and more people are using it as a treatment option for their health concerns. Should public sector organizations review their policies when it comes to drug-testing and screening practices? Do screening practices and drug test violate your obligations under state disability-accommodation and leave laws?

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The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family and Medical Leave Act don’t cover medical marijuana use directly. But several court cases in the past few years had questioned if medicinal marijuana use should be accommodated under state law.

Marijuana legalization laws in Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia have included employment protections for medical marijuana patients. These laws may require employers to accommodate marijuana use for medical reasons or impede discrimination against off-duty use.

Check out SHRM’s full article to learn more tips about staying compliant during this evolving trend.


National Insurance Services is not a law firm and no opinion, suggestion, or recommendation of the firm or its employees shall constitute legal advice. Readers are advised to consult with their own attorney for a determination of their legal rights, responsibilities and liabilities, including the interpretation of any statute or regulation, or its application to the readers’ business activities.

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Valerie Ortiz

Valerie Ortiz

Over the past 20 years, Valerie Ortiz has worn many hats at National Insurance Services. She currently heads up NIS’ Marketing Team where she helps to create and execute employee benefit communications based upon our public sector clients’ needs. Valerie brings order to the chaos and has a zeal for detail and a talent for organization.