United States: Maine Employers Must Ignore Off-Work Marijuana Use, Cease Testing Applicants

January 31st, 2018 by admin Leave a reply »

On February 1, 2018, Maine will become the first jurisdiction in
the nation to protect workers from adverse employment action based
on their use of marijuana and marijuana products, provided the use
occurs away from the workplace. In preparation for this
change, the Maine Department of Labor has removed marijuana from
the list of drugs for which an employer may test in its
“model” applicant drug-testing policy. Although
wrangling between the state legislature and Governor Paul LePage
has delayed the retail sale of marijuana, the remaining provisions
of Maine’s “Question 1 An Act to Legalize
Marijuana” (“the Act”), are slated to move forward
despite fears doing so will hurt business in the state.

How Maine Came to Embrace Recreational Marijuana

On November 8, 2016, Maine voters approved the Act, permitting
the recreational use, retail sale and taxation of marijuana.
Although the law was originally scheduled to take effect on
January 30, 2017, the Maine legislature imposed a moratorium on
retail sales and taxation (as well as employment
anti-discrimination provisions) in order to provide additional time
to promulgate rules on marijuana sale and taxation, and to resolve
other outstanding issues. The new effective date for those
portions of the Act was pushed to February 1,
,1although as described below, the
state has yet to finalize rules that will permit the retail sale of
marijuana and marijuana products.

Significantly for employers, the employment anti-discrimination
provisions of the Act are set to become effective February 1,
2018. The anti-discrimination provisions of the Act prohibit

Article source: http://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/x/669020/employee+rights+labour+relations/Maine+Employers+Must+Ignore+OffWork+Marijuana+Use+Cease+Testing+Applicants