State rules restrict workplace screenings for pot

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ALBANY — State officials have issued guidance that advises employees to avoid taking corrective action on employees who merely arrive at work smelling of marijuana smoke.

The Department of Labor guidance, which comes on the heels of the state’s move to legalize the possession of recreational pot, advises that employers may direct a worker to undergo a cannabis test only if federal or state law requires drug testing or makes it a mandatory requirement of the position,” according to the directive.

The guidance does allow for businesses to take action against an employee who “manifests articulable symptoms” of being under the influence of weed while working.

Such symptoms would have to either lessen the quality of the worker’s performance or interfere with the employer’s responsibility to provide a safe workplace before the employer could take corrective action.

Frank Kerbein, director of human resources for the Business Council of the State of New York, told CNHI the new guidance amounts to a setback for employers that have succeeded in keeping their worker compensation costs down through the use of marijuana screening. []

Source: State rules restrict workplace screenings for pot | Local News | niagara-gazette.com

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