News Flash

Economic Development

Posted on: November 17, 2016

Marijuana in the Workplace

On November 3, over 75 attendees from Pierce County’s business community, unions and local organizations gathered in the City of Lakewood’s Council Chambers to hear a panel of five subject matter experts provide insight into how the legalization of marijuana has impacted the workplace in Washington State.

The panelists agreed that what has not changed is that the employer continues to decide what is and is not permissible behavior in the workplace – and this is supported by court decisions. Employers were urged to have written policies in place.

Panelists and attendees alike acknowledged the need to educate the general public and younger workers in particular, that just because it is legal in Washington for adults over 21 years of age to possess and use marijuana, testing positive for it can and may result in disciplinary measures at work, including termination. In fact employers operating in certain sectors such as national defense and interstate transportation have little to no choice but to terminate employees that test positive for drug use.

There was general agreement that this issue is still new and will need further clarification by the legislature and the courts in the future.

For more information on this topic, please contact:
Hans Kueck at 253.798.2335 or [email protected]

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