On February 22, 2021, Governor Philip Murphy signed into law a trio of bills that collectively legalize adult use of recreational cannabis in the State of New Jersey. The legalization of cannabis, more commonly referred to as marijuana, will have a significant impact on workplaces and institutions of higher education across the state of New Jersey. Employers should contact legal counsel for guidance on revising their workplace policies to comply with the new law and ensure a safe and healthy working environment.
The following are key points employers should consider to comply with the new Law.
Employers Should Not Automatically Fire Employees for Cannabis Use. The legalization laws do not give employees the right to use cannabis in the workplace. Employers may prohibit cannabis use in the workplace but should not immediately terminate an employee for actual or suspected cannabis use outside of the workplace. The new laws prohibit employers from taking adverse action against employees for actual or prospective use of cannabis. It is prudent for employers to establish a policy that sets clear expectations for employees and consult with counsel for guidance before taking disciplinary action against an employee for using cannabis.