Can Your Employer Fire You for Using Medical Marijuana?

Can Your Employer Fire You for Using Medical Marijuana?

What were employers concerned about before the legalization of medical marijuana?

Before the legalization of medical marijuana, and then again with the legalization of cannabis generally, many employers were concerned about the impact this may have in the workplace.  While most employers want to enforce a completely drug free workplace, they face a tricky situation when medical accommodations come into play. They need to support employees who use it for health reasons while also keeping the workplace safe for everyone.

What considerations do employers need to make for safety-sensitive jobs?

Employers need to find a balance between helping employees who need medical marijuana and making sure the workplace stays safe. Employers must accommodate employees with disabilities to the point of undue hardship, including those who need medical marijuana. But they also need to ensure that everyone stays safe, especially in safety-sensitive jobs, such as operating heavy machinery.

So, what’s the solution? Employers must consider how to accommodate medical marijuana without putting anyone at risk. This might mean making some clear rules about using marijuana at work, doing safety checks, teaching employees about the risks, and finding different jobs for them if necessary.

What measures can employers take to accommodate medical marijuana without risking safety?

Ultimately some roles may not be able to be accommodated due to safety concerns, but that needs to be determined after thorough consideration and not as a knee jerk response. An employer that hastily dismisses an employee due to medical marijuana use may be looking at a human rights complaint for discrimination.

Communication is key here. Employers and employees need to talk openly about medical marijuana. This helps employers understand their employees’ needs and concerns. It also helps employees understand what’s okay and what’s not at work.

In the end, it’s all about finding a middle ground. Employers need to follow the rules, keep everyone safe, and support employees who need medical marijuana. By talking openly and working together, employers and employees can find solutions that work for everyone.

How can Whitten & Lublin assist with employment law matters?

To better understand your workplace rights and explore the viability of a claim, we encourage employees and employers to seek legal advice. We at Whitten & Lublin are happy to provide insight and advice into your specific circumstances. If you are looking for employment lawyers and would like more information about what Whitten & Lublin can do for you, please contact us online or by phone at (416) 640-2667 today.

Author – Rachel Patten