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Jaime Webb-Alaska Provides Input on Marijuana Legalization and Employee Safety in the Workplace

According to a recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center, now more than ever before there is public advocacy behind marijuana law reform; in fact, sixty-two percent of Americans are in favor of marijuana legislation.

That being said, under federal law marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug and is not currently accepted for medical use. Yet, thirty-three states have legalized medical marijuana and 10 states, along with Washington D.C., have legalized its recreational use. This varying legislation can get confusing, luckily, Jaime Webb-Alaska, VP of Legal Counsel, OneDigital West, spoke with HRO Today in the “Conundrum of Cannabis” and ruled out everything you need to know to remain compliant and keep your workforce safe.

Although marijuana remains illegal under federal law, employers must take care to follow state medical marijuana accommodation, disability accommodation and anti-discrimination requirements. Violation of these laws can lead to back pay, future pay, job reinstatement, and other damages, penalties and attorneys’ fees.
 
Employers should consider having a consistent policy for certain sensitive positions across all states, taking into consideration areas of potential liability. Additionally, employers must always take care to apply their policies consistently, in a neutral fashion, so as not to discriminate against any protected class.
 
Jaime Webb-Alaska, VP Legal Counsel, HR Consulting, OneDigital West

Read the full article here.

Learn more about how employers can best navigate the complex landscape of workforce safety and employee best practices by checking out our Fresh Thinking Blog.

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