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On June 22, 2021, the Governor of Connecticut signed a new law that will be in effect from July 1, 2022. This law states:

  • Employers have to accommodate any on-premise possession of palliative cannabis by any qualifying patient.
  • When a job offer is extended, they have to distribute a drug possession and drug-use policy to all prospective employees.
  • They must not discriminate against any employees for their use of cannabis outside the premises or work unless this use is prohibited by the employer policy distributed as per the condition mentioned above.

Otherwise, the law permits;

  • Employers to prohibit employees on-premises to a written policy described according to the conditions mentioned above.
  • Employers can prohibit on-premises or on-duty impairment by way of any reasonable suspicion.
  • But the law doesn’t permit employers to take any adverse actions against a current employee only for failing a THC drug test unless it’s a random test.
  • However, employers can take adverse actions against prospective employees for failing a THC test. But only if the distributed policy permits it.

Apart from that, certain exemptions and exceptions apply to each of these general statements of the law.

In the first 4 months of 2021, different states, including New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Virginia, passed laws dismantling medical and recreational cannabis restrictions.

As a result, employers in these states are raising questions about whether these laws influence their policies towards cannabis use or not.

Impact on employers

With the state legislature expanding individual rights, some employers will have to deal with problems, especially drug-free workplaces.

The questions that arise with these laws in action are,

  • Can employers continue to test their employees and applicants for Marijuana?
  • Are employees allowed to be impaired on-premises or during duty?
  • Do employers have to allow employees to possess cannabis on-premises or at work?
  • Can employers terminate an employee who uses Marijuana off-premise or off-duty?

Employers have to regularly review their drug-testing and drug-use policies to ensure they comply with the ever-changing local and state laws.

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