Some Employers Worry They’ll Pay the Price for Marijuana Use

By Staff Report

Jul. 20, 2004

With 11 states now allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana–and legislation pending in several other states–some employers are concerned that they will be liable if an employee causes an accident while under the influence.
Cyndi Fischer is a human resources manager at Advanced Power Technology in Bend, Oregon. “We try to accommodate the employees if we can,” Fischer tells Business Insurance. But, she says, “we have to make sure it’s a safe environment for both the employee and the rest of the employees who work here.”
Medical-marijuana laws are creating confusion for employers. In some states, the state laws contradict federal laws. In other states, the laws are ambiguous, according to Business Insurance. In Oregon, for example, the law says employers don’t have to accommodate the use of marijuana at work. While that bans employees from smoking pot on the job, it’s unclear how that affects drug tests and whether an employee who fails an employer’s test needs to be accommodated.

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