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Reminder: Connecticut’s Recreational Marijuana Law Employment-Related Provisions Take Effect

As we previously reported, employment-related provisions of the Responsible and Equitable Regulation of Adult-Use Cannabis Act (Act) take effect on July 1, 2022. Among other things, the provisions address an employer’s right to:

  • Prohibit an employee’s possession and use of marijuana;
  • Accommodate an employee’s possession and use of marijuana;
  • Take adverse action against an employee for using marijuana; and
  • Conduct testing for marijuana.

Employers are not required to allow employees to work while under the influence of cannabis or to possess, use or otherwise consume cannabis while working or on the employer’s premises, except for possession of medicinal cannabis by qualifying patients. In addition, employers remain free to implement drug-free workplace policies that prohibit employee possession, use and consumption of cannabis in the workplace.

The law also prohibits an employer from taking adverse action against a prospective or current employee based on the individual’s prior cannabis use outside the workplace before being employed by that employer unless not doing so would cause the employer to violate a federal contract or lose federal funding. Several positions and industries are exempt from the Act, including law enforcement, emergency response and many safety or security sensitive roles.

Next Steps for Employers

For additional details on the Act, employers are encouraged to read our prior post. In addition, employers should carefully consider how the new law affects their existing drug testing procedures and hiring processes and review existing policies to ensure compliance. Employers that engage in drug testing should ensure that reasonable suspicion training is provided to supervisors/managers and/or human resources to ensure compliance.

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.