Although still illegal at the federal level, marijuana usage is becoming largely legalized at the state level. Some states have legalized marijuana for both recreational and medicinal purposes, while others have only legalized it for medical use. Whether in favor of or against these new marijuana laws, restaurant businesses that operate in multiple states need to be especially careful about how they approach marijuana in workplace situations.
With the arrival of COVID-19, the use of Marijuana has risen, forcing employers to focus even more on how these laws affect their employees. Additionally, contradictions in employment policies and terms surrounding marijuana laws are on the rise, and employers are having to adapt their policies so that workers know exactly how marijuana use will be treated. This is becoming especially tricky for restaurant businesses or chains that operate across multiple states.
Concerns Around Employee Productivity
Many employers are becoming increasingly concerned about worker productivity in states where marijuana is legal. The reality is that it comes down to whether employees are doing their jobs. If they’re not producing quality work, their jobs are in jeopardy.
New Safety Issues
Safety issues around marijuana consumption are of major concern if an employee is involved in a work mishap while under the influence. These situations place employers and restaurant owners in a difficult place regarding how to move forward following such an incident. If employees partake in marijuana consumption before or after work and are part of an on-site accident, is it because of their marijuana use? It’s hard to tell. If an accident happens and the employee tests positive, employers must have policies in place that determine the appropriate consequences and what qualifies for termination.
Complications with Drug Testing
The continued legalization of marijuana will impact the restaurant industry on many fronts, from drug testing and candidate screening to responding to workplace issues and updating employee handbooks. It’s a complex issue to navigate and shouldn’t be attempted without support. Make sure your business is protected and compliant in the mandatory areas by reaching out to an HR expert for guidance.