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Employment Law Notebook

Marijuana Is Legal In New Jersey Now. What Impact Will This Have On The Workplace?

New Jersey voters legalized marijuana at the ballot in November.  Now two new laws are significantly restricting what an employer can and can’t do with regard to background checks related to marijuana-related criminal history, and drug testing employees and applicants for marijuana.  The background check requirements come from a new Decriminalization statute and the drug testing restrictions come from the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Enforcement Assistance And Marketplace Modernization Act (“NJCREAMMA”)

Under NJCREAMMA, no employer can refuse to hire, terminate or take any other adverse action against any employee solely because that person does or does not smoke, vape, aerosolize or otherwise use cannabis items, or solely because that person tests positive for cannabis through a drug test.  Employers can prohibit people from consuming, selling, distributing and being impaired from marijuana while they are working or during work hours and take action against them if they do so.  However, proving an employee is impaired from marijuana at work just got harder.

Watch my video to learn more. 

Please note there is an exception to the new restrictions under NJCREAMMA for employers with federal contracts or subject to federal requirements, such as DOT requirements.  If an employer would run the risk of losing such a contract or violating these requirements by following the new employer restrictions under NJCREAMMA, then employers are free to follow the federal requirements.