On December 6, 2018 marijuana became Legal in Michigan. But what does that mean for business owners and employers?
Employees can still be fired for smoking marijuana. The new law makes it legal to smoke marijuana. But, default employment in Michigan is at-will, meaning employees can be fired for nearly any reason, as long as the reason is not illegal (ex. because of because of employees religion). The marijuana law does not change this, or protect employees that smoke marijuana from being fired.
Businesses with a potentially dangerous workplace should have a drug free policy. Similar to the treatment of alcohol, businesses with employees that drive vehicles, operate heavy equipment, or other potentially dangerous activities could be opening themselves up to serious liability if steps are not taken to ensure a drug free workplace. Having an employee handbook that addresses marijuana is a critical first step.
Marijuana remains Federally Illegal. Like it or hate it, marijuana remains federally illegal. The federal government cannot compel the State of Michigan to enforce their law, but they can compel employers with federal contracts to continue to comply with the Drug-Free Workplace Act.
Fun Fact: Michigan Marijuana Laws use the alternate spelling Marihuana.
AS ALWAYS, THIS IS GENERAL INFORMATION. I AM A LAWYER, BUT I AM NOT YOUR LAWYER, AT LEAST NOT YET. THIS LIST IS NOT EXHAUSTIVE, BUT I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE AN INDIVIDUALIZED CONVERSATION ABOUT WHAT YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS AND HOW I CAN HELP. A BLOG POST SHOULD NOT BE CONSTRUED AS SPECIFIC LEGAL ADVICE AND THIS BLOG DOES NOT IN ANY WAY CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.