Medical Marijuana in the Workplace: A Guide for HR

Duration: 90 minutes Speaker: Melissa Fleischer, Esq

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With the many new state laws being passed legalizing medical and recreational marijuana, HR professionals can be overwhelmed when applying their drug-free workplace policies… especially when more employees are failing drug screens as a result. Understanding HR’s obligations for enforcement of an employer’s drug-free workplace policies in light of these new state laws legalizing medical and recreational marijuana use can be a veritable nightmare. It is essential that HR understand how best to deal with situations when employees may use marijuana or be under the influence at work or when they may fail routine drug screenings. Let’s say that an applicant for employment with your company fails your drug screen. What are your obligations? If the employee comes to you after testing positive and claims that they have a medical marijuana card and are allowed to use medical marijuana out of the workplace which is why they tested positive, do you have to hire the applicant if you are in a state in which medical marijuana is lawful? Or are you allowed to stick to your guns and refuse to hire anyone that tests positive for marijuana?

What do laws legalizing medical marijuana actually mean for you? Is marijuana now considered “legal” or do these laws merely create an exception to enforcement of criminal penalties for possession and use of marijuana? Is marijuana still illegal under federal law? If so, what does this mean for employers who enforce their Drug Free Workplace Policies in states that have legalized marijuana? Do you have to comply with the state law in states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes or the federal law, or both?

Please join Melissa Fleischer for a webinar that helps provide you with a better understanding of all these issues and more.


Just a sampling of what this webinar will cover:

  • What you should do if an employee who uses medical marijuana lawfully in your state, tests positive for marijuana on a drug screen
  • Whether you have to allow an employee who may lawfully use marijuana for medicinal purposes in your state, to use it or be under the influence in your workplace
  • Whether it would be a reasonable accommodation under the ADA to allow an employee to use marijuana or be under the influence at work
  • Review of current state laws relating to medical and recreational marijuana
  • Understand what it means to need marijuana for medical usage
  • Review an employer’s obligations regarding allowing medical marijuana usage in the workplace
  • What are an employer’s obligation vis-à-vis the employment laws and their interaction with these new state medical marijuana laws
  • Methods on handling an employee’s use of medical marijuana with regard to drug screens

Who Should Attend

HR administrators, supervisors and managers, financial officers, other senior executives

Melissa Fleischer, Esq

Melissa Fleischer, Esq., is a sought-after employment law attorney and HR advisor, having utilized her 20 years of law practice experience specializing in employment discrimination litigation to form HR Learning Center LLC, an HR consulting firm that specializes in providing workplace solutions to employers on a wide range of legal and human resource management issues. Ms. Fleischer provides preventative counseling and proactive training on a wide-range of employment law issues to help employers achieve legal compliance and reduce litigation costs, Ms. Fleischer is a management-side employment attorney and is nationally recognized as an expert in her field. Ms. Fleischer has successfully represented numerous clients in employment discrimination litigation as well as providing preventive counseling and training on workplace issues. Ms Fleischer was previously associated with Epstein Becker & Green in NYC.

Through HR Learning Center, Ms. Fleischer provides on-site training seminars and on-line training webinars and consulting on a wide range of workplace and human resource issues including sexual harassment, disabilities, diversity, discrimination, workplace violence, employee use of social media, job descriptions, employee handbooks, workplace investigations, FLSA misclassification and independent contractor status, information privacy and security, and HR records management. She also offers compliance training on the major employment laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Family and Medical Leave Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, including exempt and non-exempt worker classifications and the National Labor Relations Act. She presents seminars, leads webinars and workshops, and is a frequent lecturer on these and other HR management and legal topics.

Ms. Fleischer served as a chapter editor for the Family and Medical Leave Act Treatise, published by the Bureau of National Affairs. She also served as an Editor for HRExpert, an on-line legal resource for attorneys and HR Professionals. Ms. Fleischer is an adjunct faculty member with the Professional Development Center at SUNY/Westchester Community College in Valhalla, New York. She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Ms. Fleischer earned her J.D. degree from The George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C., and her B.A., cum laude, from New York University.


The use of this seal confirms that this activity has met HR Certification Institute’s® (HRCI®) criteria for recertification credit pre-approval.

Credits: 1.5


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Credits: 1.5

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