By Dr. Donald Bucklin
Juggling the need for a drug-free workplace with the rights of employees might get a lot more complex in California after Nov. 2.
That’s when Proposition 19, the initiative to legalize marijuana for recreational use — not just medical reasons — will be voted on by Californians. Polls show it could very well pass.
Should the measure become law, every employer will be asking, “How does this impact my drug testing policies and my hiring process?”
As it’s currently written, Proposition 19 says that employers would retain all existing rights to address consumption of marijuana that impairs employees’ work performance.
But legalized marijuana could create significant conflicts, particularly if an employer is unprepared and doesn’t have a clear drug use policy. That’s because many employers have a zero-tolerance stance when it comes to employee drug use, conducting drug testing before and during employment.
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