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Posted: 2/21/2013 11:52:16 AM EST
I don't have any legal background, so maybe someone could enlighten me with some academic discussion.

Since marijuana is now legal in CO, will a CO based employer still be able to exclude employees because they have THC metabolites in their blood stream/urine?
Can an employer dictate what legal substances you use in your off time, provided you aren't under the influence while on the job?
As a comparison, it is perfectly legal to take opioids(as hydrocodone) or amphetamines(as Adderall) provided you are under a doctor's care. These will show up in your hair/urine test, but once you provide a prescription you are in the clear.



To go further, if one was to travel to CO for some of this 'marijuana tourism' that entrepreneurs are starting to promote, what would the implications be of testing positive for THC metabolites once you returned to your job?


Would there be any standing in court for this situation? Any other thoughts?
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Link Posted: 2/21/2013 11:54:25 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/21/2013 11:55:31 AM EST by TexasOutdoorsman]
of course an employer can regulate/determine whom they deem worthy of being employed.....
just cuz it's legal don't mean it has to be liked or used...


edit: i will say, it would be an interesting (? maybe not right word) precedent if someone fired for pot use sues and wins...
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Link Posted: 2/21/2013 11:56:23 AM EST
Originally Posted By Darcy:

Can an employer dictate what legal substances you use in your off time, provided you aren't under the influence while on the job?
As a comparison, it is perfectly legal to take opioids(as hydrocodone) or amphetamines(as Adderall) provided you are under a doctor's care. These will show up in your hair/urine test, but once you provide a prescription you are in the clear.


Some employers are already doing this for smokers and screening for nicotine in their system...

Not saying it's right... but they're doing it...

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Link Posted: 2/21/2013 8:10:47 PM EST
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Link Posted: 2/21/2013 8:16:02 PM EST
An employer can set standards for their employees - as long as they do not violate laws against discrimination and other employment law and that they are documented and enforced equitably.



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Link Posted: 2/21/2013 8:17:14 PM EST
The law does not place restrictions on employers or businesses. You can still get fired for THC in your system or having marijuana on company property.
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Link Posted: 2/21/2013 8:18:42 PM EST
If I was an employer I would look more at how much money a person makes me personally
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Link Posted: 2/21/2013 8:22:28 PM EST
Still not getting away from any Federal requirements like DOT.

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Link Posted: 2/21/2013 8:35:36 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/21/2013 8:37:34 PM EST by Casewheatie]
If you test positive for THC in a DOT drug test the employer has 2 choices company paid drug rehab or firing. I will always choose to fire because with rehab I will still be liable for anything the driver does after rehab. For the employee going to rehab is the only chance of keeping a CDL otherwise career over. To sum it up if you are subject to DOT drug screenings never associate with marijuana.
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Link Posted: 2/21/2013 8:37:49 PM EST

Originally Posted By focus8:
If I was an employer I would look more at how much money a person makes me personally


Except that as an employer - you hold direct risk for on the job accidents and have the financial liability for those. Your corporate liability insurance carrier will ask you if your policies allow for employees to use marijuana/hash (example). If yes - plan on paying much higher rates (if they will offer you coverage at all). You might try going without that liability insurance if it is very expensive - except that clients/other companies you support will ask you for a Certificate of Insurance before they will work with you.

Those higher overhead costs get passed along in higher pricing to your customers - which will probably please your competition.

Of course if you make a decision to not screen for recreational drug use - and an accident happens caused by an employee who is a user - expect that decision to be a great target for a lawsuit by anyone injured.

I know what corporate insurance costs (all types.... and there are many). Insurance drives many corporate policies - including drug screening, smoker screening, firearms policy, etc etc.
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Link Posted: 2/21/2013 9:44:12 PM EST
Originally Posted By CWO:

Originally Posted By focus8:
If I was an employer I would look more at how much money a person makes me personally


Except that as an employer - you hold direct risk for on the job accidents and have the financial liability for those. Your corporate liability insurance carrier will ask you if your policies allow for employees to use marijuana/hash (example). If yes - plan on paying much higher rates (if they will offer you coverage at all). You might try going without that liability insurance if it is very expensive - except that clients/other companies you support will ask you for a Certificate of Insurance before they will work with you.

Those higher overhead costs get passed along in higher pricing to your customers - which will probably please your competition.

Of course if you make a decision to not screen for recreational drug use - and an accident happens caused by an employee who is a user - expect that decision to be a great target for a lawsuit by anyone injured.

I know what corporate insurance costs (all types.... and there are many). Insurance drives many corporate policies - including drug screening, smoker screening, firearms policy, etc etc.


I agree with everything you just said. I don't use it. I personally think people should be free to if they wish and it has no effect on their work life. .govs opinion surrounds a lot of what you mentioned though
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Link Posted: 2/21/2013 10:01:36 PM EST
At your own risk. Colorado like Nevada is an at will state. You have the freedom to do whatever the hell you want, if your job doesn't allow it and you do it anyway than that is the risk YOU take. It may be legal in that state, but it is still illegal on a federal level and seeing as how many employers and busniesses still have to abide by federal laws and regulations it's pretty self explainatory.
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Link Posted: 2/21/2013 10:02:48 PM EST
Originally Posted By Darcy:
I don't have any legal background, so maybe someone could enlighten me with some academic discussion.

Since marijuana is now legal in CO, will a CO based employer still be able to exclude employees because they have THC metabolites in their blood stream/urine?
Can an employer dictate what legal substances you use in your off time, provided you aren't under the influence while on the job?
As a comparison, it is perfectly legal to take opioids(as hydrocodone) or amphetamines(as Adderall) provided you are under a doctor's care. These will show up in your hair/urine test, but once you provide a prescription you are in the clear.



To go further, if one was to travel to CO for some of this 'marijuana tourism' that entrepreneurs are starting to promote, what would the implications be of testing positive for THC metabolites once you returned to your job?


Would there be any standing in court for this situation? Any other thoughts?


We just had several employees fired for smoking, being explicitly told in their exit interviews that it doesn't matter if it's legal.

It'll be challenged in court at some point.

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Link Posted: 2/21/2013 10:06:06 PM EST
Originally Posted By sd_norske:
The law does not place restrictions on employers or businesses. You can still get fired for THC in your system or having marijuana on company property.


This and no Fortune 500 company is giving THC a pass on their drug screens...
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Link Posted: 2/21/2013 10:07:52 PM EST
Originally Posted By forgebench:
Originally Posted By Darcy:
I don't have any legal background, so maybe someone could enlighten me with some academic discussion.

Since marijuana is now legal in CO, will a CO based employer still be able to exclude employees because they have THC metabolites in their blood stream/urine?
Can an employer dictate what legal substances you use in your off time, provided you aren't under the influence while on the job?
As a comparison, it is perfectly legal to take opioids(as hydrocodone) or amphetamines(as Adderall) provided you are under a doctor's care. These will show up in your hair/urine test, but once you provide a prescription you are in the clear.



To go further, if one was to travel to CO for some of this 'marijuana tourism' that entrepreneurs are starting to promote, what would the implications be of testing positive for THC metabolites once you returned to your job?

It's been challenged and the company's won. You smoke you CAN get fired or not hired for a positive


Would there be any standing in court for this situation? Any other thoughts?


We just had several employees fired for smoking, being explicitly told in their exit interviews that it doesn't matter if it's legal.

It'll be challenged in court at some point.



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Link Posted: 2/21/2013 10:08:45 PM EST
Originally Posted By VVS1:
Originally Posted By forgebench:
Originally Posted By Darcy:
I don't have any legal background, so maybe someone could enlighten me with some academic discussion.

Since marijuana is now legal in CO, will a CO based employer still be able to exclude employees because they have THC metabolites in their blood stream/urine?
Can an employer dictate what legal substances you use in your off time, provided you aren't under the influence while on the job?
As a comparison, it is perfectly legal to take opioids(as hydrocodone) or amphetamines(as Adderall) provided you are under a doctor's care. These will show up in your hair/urine test, but once you provide a prescription you are in the clear.



To go further, if one was to travel to CO for some of this 'marijuana tourism' that entrepreneurs are starting to promote, what would the implications be of testing positive for THC metabolites once you returned to your job?

It's been challenged and the company's won. You smoke you CAN get fired or not hired for a positive


Would there be any standing in court for this situation? Any other thoughts?


We just had several employees fired for smoking, being explicitly told in their exit interviews that it doesn't matter if it's legal.

It'll be challenged in court at some point.





It's been challenged and the company's won. You smoke you CAN get fired or not hired for a positive
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Link Posted: 2/22/2013 6:39:55 AM EST
Alaska Airlines use to have a strict no tobacco policy.

I never know how the law will shake out but a private company should be able to require whatever the hell they want
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Link Posted: 2/22/2013 6:42:11 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/22/2013 6:42:29 AM EST by fla556guy]
what i am curious about is this: if it has the same legal standing as alcohol, then theoretically the businesses that test for THC used in off-work hours are now on shaky ground unless they also test for off-work alcohol use.........

Just going off the "regulate like alcohol" legislation that they used to get it passed.......
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Link Posted: 2/22/2013 6:44:04 AM EST
Just don't be buying any high cap mags! What a stupid state, new gun laws for all and legal pot.
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Link Posted: 2/22/2013 6:45:12 AM EST
In AZ you can't discriminate for hiring on a positive Marijuana test if the applicant has a MM card. Ask me how I know. Our company hired the applicant rather than fight it out in court, and just like I said, an excellent employee.
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Link Posted: 2/22/2013 7:16:16 AM EST
As an employer in Colorado, we are indeed "at will", however, to cover your bases legally, you are supposed to provide your new employee with written company policies, and have them sign to agree to those policies as terms of employment. (we also have employees sign a waiver of their right to sue us based on employment termination, but that's another issue entirely.)

If your company policy is written to state you prohibit the use of caffeine, ban the use of blue ink pens, or not to allow employees to wear Hello Kitty clothing in the workplace, then those are all legally enforceable reasons for termination if the employee agrees to the contract of employment.
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Link Posted: 2/22/2013 7:20:10 AM EST
Everyone is all for legalizing drugs until the day they have to let go of the hand of their little kid on their first day of school and pray the bus driver isn't high/drunk at the moment and has been drug tested.

People are funny that way.
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Link Posted: 2/22/2013 7:22:20 AM EST
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Link Posted: 2/22/2013 7:22:21 AM EST
There are plenty of employers that test for tobacco use and will not hire you if you test positive for nicotine.

Why would marijuana be any different?
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Link Posted: 2/22/2013 8:52:53 AM EST
Originally Posted By Lorax:
Everyone is all for legalizing drugs until the day they have to let go of the hand of their little kid on their first day of school and pray the bus driver isn't high/drunk at the moment and has been drug tested.

People are funny that way.


What is stopping them from being drunk now??

I agree that people are funny, they seem to use completely different logic on similar situations or items.
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No one wants to eat right and exercise, and lower their stress levels, all of which will come in a lot more handy than a home defense carbine and chest rig

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