San Francisco Partner Cheryl Orr was quoted in a recent story in the Chicago Tribune on Illinois medical marijuana law and the legal implications for Illinois employers whose policies are at odds with the law. Some of the issues Illinois employers will need to confront include reconciling their drug-free work place policies with patients’ rights, what they can ask job applicants, how to deal with an impaired employee and whether or not an employer can punish an employee for engaging in what is now deemed to be a legal activity.
Cheryl submitted that the Illinois statute may offer civil employment protections for workers. One provision of the Illinois law appears to narrowly tie the ability to discipline a medical marijuana patient for failing a drug test to those employers who are specifically connected to federal work or funding. This framework, Cheryl wrote, “creates a plausible argument that the statute does provide protections” for medical marijuana users in the private sector.
LaborSphere previously looked at employer liability under the Illinois law, and other states who have laws providing for some form of legalized medical marijuana, and will continue to follow this ever evolving area of law.