2016 has seen the legalization of marijuana for medical use in 23 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, and recreational use in four states, prompting the update of human resources policies surrounding drug use. A Society for Human Resource Management survey from earlier this year indicates that 90 percent of organizations still do not have a substance abuse policy in place that addressed legal pot use. It’s as if the HR community has been slow to recognize these changes and how they impact the workplace.
Is your workplace prepared with an updated policy on legal marijuana, whether your state is affected or not? Here are some things your company needs to do now.
1. Update your substance abuse policy for the workplace.
As an employer, it’s your responsibility to maintain a safe workplace for all employees, and this includes cracking down on employees who either use drugs during work hours or bring drugs into the work environment. Make sure to clearly state what your company’s stance is on drugs at work, and that the only exceptions are for medical marijuana use only with an approved doctor’s note. In states where recreational marijuana use is legal, it is still advisable to have a policy on screening employees who have been in accidents or injured on the job.
2. Set up a relationship with a staffing agency or pre-employment drug-testing vendor.
The drug policy should also include recruitment factors, such as the company’s effort to hire drug-free employees. Therefore, a vendor needs to be in place, ready to handle all pre-employment drug screens for new hires. A staffing agency can easily and inexpensively handle this matter as they already have a relationship with drug-testing facilities.
3. Become knowledgeable about updates to marijuana legalization.
The laws around the legalization of marijuana are continually changing and they may continue to be confusing and complex for the immediate future. A trusted HR advisor or consulting agency can support your workplace by keeping your HR team abreast of current laws. Take the time to educate managers on this topic, and use staff meetings to educate employees about the drug-use policy. Remember that you do not have to allow drug use in your workplace, whether recreational use is legal or not.
Need help to build a strong workforce policy, or hiring employees who can comply with company policies? Let the staffing experts at Advance Staffing Solutions help!