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Because I Got High

The workplace dilemma of recreational and medical marijuana sparked an interesting discussion in a recent webinar presented by CLM’s Retail, Restaurant, and Hospitality Community

May 11, 2017 Photo

12:00:00 p.m.
Danielle Goodgion, director of human resources, Texas de Brazil
Sarah Lemmert, associate, Franklin & Prokopik P.C.

12:02:11 p.m.
Sarah Lemmert
“I hope you all appreciate the Afroman reference ‘Because I Got High’ in the title of today’s webinar, which is taking place on April 20. As some of you know, this day is a bit of a ‘folk’ holiday regarding marijuana, so we thought it was appropriate.” 

12:05:00 p.m.
Sarah Lemmert
“There are two main quandaries in dealing with marijuana in workers comp claims. The first is ‘If an employee is injured while high on marijuana, is that a compensable injury?’ Second, ‘Must employers compensate for medical marijuana under workers comp claims?’” 

12:10:29 p.m.
Danielle Goodgion
“It’s interesting to note that a recent Society of Human Resource Management survey done on marijuana use and testing in the workplace reported that 20 percent of employers that responded did not test for marijuana for any of their employees. Those who did test post-accident appeared to remove marijuana from the testing panels, which is interesting.”

12:14:16 p.m.
Sarah Lemmert
“Private sector employers can accommodate the use of medical marijuana if they so choose, unless the private employer receives federal contracts. If employers in states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana allow its use, they risk not meeting their responsibilities under the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988.” 

12:21:28 p.m.
Danielle Goodgion
“When you have employees working with large pieces of meat on giant knives that they are carving tableside for guests like we do, we need those folks to be sober and have full use of their faculties so they are not a danger to themselves, guests, or vendors.”

12:30:24 p.m.
Danielle Goodgion
“It might sound a little strange, but you would be surprised how many times someone will admit to using [drugs recreationally]. If we suspect someone is under the influence of any substance, then we ask them. Half the time, they will admit it.” 

12:33:30 p.m.
Sarah Lemmert
“That’s an interesting way to handle that. Sometimes simply asking the employee ends up being the best and most straight-forward way because then you don’t have to get into the complications of drug testing.” 

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About The Authors
Eric Gilkey

Eric Gilkey is vice president of content at the CLM, and serves as executive editor of CLM magazine, the flagship publication of the CLM.  eric.gilkey@theclm.org

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