According to new guidelines released by the Department of Labor, New Yorkers can be high on marijuana when they go to work. It’s no longer something you can be fired for. However, you can’t be too high.
So how does an employer figure out what too high is?
Leslie Silva is a partner at Tully Rinckey. She says there’s been some confusion about what would change for employers given the new legal status of marijuana. She says while you’re free to light up at home, it doesn’t mean you can have weed in the workplace.
“You can’t be discriminated for what you do on your time, and so if you are engaging in recreational marijuana, your employer cannot prohibit that, so long as you’re on your own time,” said Silva.
She says while you’re free to light up at home, that doesn’t mean you can have weed in the workplace.
“Employers can prohibit the use of marijuana during work hours and they also can put policies and procedures in place to prohibit the possession of marijuana within their building,” said Silva.
Short of seeing someone actively using, the guidelines say an employer would have to see an employee showing “articulable symptoms of cannabis impairment that decrease or lessen the employee’s performance.”
“You can’t be visibly impaired on the job,” said Silva.
Silva says employers are also barred from having marijuana be part of a pre-employment drug screen.