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Monday, January 30, 2023

Can I be fired for using medical marijuana?

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My wife and I are over 60, and we both have conditions that are being treated with medical marijuana. We both work for companies that do random drug testing. Can we be fired if we are tested for cannabis?

It depends. Although cannabis is legal in New York, an employer is free to fire or take other negative action against an employee who uses marijuana on the job or appears to be under the influence — even if it was taken to treat a medical condition. The concept is that marijuana use to treat a health condition should occur when you are off the clock and at intervals that allow you to work when you are not under the influence of marijuana. The complication is that cannabis can be detected for weeks or months after it has been used. However, as an approved medical marijuana patient, you are classified as disabled under New York law and therefore a member of a protected class. As such, your employer must engage in a bona fide, interactive process to assess your needs and see if there is a way to accommodate your use of medical marijuana that does not impose undue hardship on the employer.

Someone on my staff who works remotely has a second full-time job. I discovered his profile on LInkedIn, he has two current full time jobs listed. When I confronted him, he said I was happy with his performance, so why would it matter if he could juggle the two? Can I force him to quit his other job or fire him if he doesn’t?

You can fire him for stupidity. No one thinks they can work two full-time jobs at once without telling their employers and thinks that’s okay. He didn’t ask and he didn’t tell, but he did put it on Linkedin! You can ask him to give up or lose the other job, or you can simply fire him. I’m not sure what it’s doing or how long this has been going on, but I’m curious you haven’t noticed any effect on its performance or availability. Many companies have policies that state employees may not engage in other business while working with the company, which will be even more important because more employees work remotely and it becomes more difficult for them to keep track of how they spend their time.

Gregory Giangrande has over 25 years of experience as Chief Human Resources Officer. Listen to Greg Widows. At 9:35 am iHeartRadio 710 WOR with Lynn Berman and Michael Riddell. Email: GoToGreg@NYPost.com. Follow: GoToGreg.com and on
Twitter: @GregGiangrande

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