The new law doesn’t just legalize adult recreational cannabis, it also limits an employer’s right to take employment actions against workers who fail a cannabis drug test. Testing must be performed by certified Workplace Impairment Recognition Experts (WIREs) who are also required to do a physical exam to determine impairment. A failed cannabis drug test alone is not enough to fire an employee.
As if this new regulatory burden was not enough, the Cannabis Regulatory Commission has yet to adopt regulations to certify WIREs. Thus, while the law requires WIREs, the CRC’s failure to provide for their certification leaves employers with a new requirement and a remedy they cannot use.
So, how do employers protect the workplace from cannabis-impaired employees? Our panel of legal, safety and HR experts were quick to point out impairment issues are not new.
As many as one in seven adults has used cannabis in the last 30 days, enough to make them fail a drug test because cannabis remains in a person’s system a long time after use. A failed drug test does not necessarily mean an employee is impaired.