Many states are voting today regarding marijuana and its use. Regardless of the outcome, employers need to prepare for change. If, as an employer you think change means turning a blind eye to marijuana use, the answer is a resounding…No!
The Detroit Free Press provided a summary of how “Legalizing marijuana in Michigan won't let employees off the hook.” https://www.freep.com/story/news/marijuana/2018/09/20/marijuana-legalization-michigan-employers/1361074002/. Should legalized recreational marijuana pass, employers need to be mindful of their position on expectations in the workplace. Additionally, employers need to brush up on applicable policies and understand the importance of training to provide a clear message for their employees. Some initial steps employers could take include the following:
- Look at your contracts: Many employers miss this important point in the “fine print”. Even if the use of marijuana is legal, a working contract could dictate a “No Tolerance Policy.” Many Federal and even local contracts outline expected behavior in the workplace to remain in good standing contractually. Be sure that the language in all your contracts align with your company policies.
- Review your testing sites and what is tested: Talk to your testing site about the best testing options for your company. If you still plan to test for marijuana, determine the best approach.
- Review your policies: This step is vital and needs to be completed as soon as possible. Be sure to address pre-hire, random and for cause screening to leave no misunderstanding of workplace expectations. Educate your employees on the policies and the expected outcomes if the policies are violated.
- Review your fragrance-free environment policy: Let’s face it, marijuana smells. Complaints are made every day regarding smells in the workplace. These complaints are regarding body odor, cologne, etc. If marijuana use is legalized, the odor complaints are sure to come. Determine how you will deal with complaints regarding its odor in the workplace.
- Communication is the key: If you don’t tell your employees what to expect if the law passes, they will simply decide on their own. Not communicating today could lead to costly turnover tomorrow.
Should you have any questions regarding this issue, Sage Solutions Group is here to help!