By January 1, 2020, healthcare or recreational cannabis use will be legal in at least 33 states, like Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota.1 The current raise in cannabis legalization has triggered numerous employers to reconsider their drug-absolutely free workplace policies. Even so, federal grant recipients and particular federal contractors will have to continue to abide by their obligations beneath the Drug Absolutely free Workplace Act (DFWA).

The DFWA calls for all federal grant recipients and federal contractors with a contract of $100,000 or far more to sustain a drug-absolutely free workplace. Even though the DFWA’s specifications only apply to personnel who are straight engaged in the functionality of function pursuant to the federal grant or contract, it is generally less complicated for employers to implement business-wide policies with respect to drug use.

Beneath the DFWA, a covered grantee or contractor will have to:

  • Publish a statement notifying personnel that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, or use of a controlled substance is prohibited in the workplace and specifying the actions that will be taken against personnel for violations (the Statement)
  • Establish a drug-absolutely free awareness system that informs personnel about: (1) the dangers of drug abuse in the workplace (two) the employer’s drug-absolutely free workplace policy (three) the availability of drug counseling, rehabilitation, and employee help applications and (four) the penalties for drug abuse violations
  • Offer every employee with a copy of the Statement
  • Inform personnel that, as a situation of their employment, they will have to comply with the Statement and notify the employer of any criminal drug convictions that outcome from an occurrence in the workplace no later than 5 days just after the conviction
  • If an employee reports a workplace-associated drug conviction or the employer discovers an employee has a workplace-associated drug conviction, notifying the grantor or contracting agency inside 10 days just after getting such notice and
  • Sanction the convicted employee or demand the convicted employee to participate in a drug abuse help or rehabilitation system.

Notably, the DFWA does not restrict employees’ drug use outdoors the workplace. Moreover, the DFWA does not demand the employer to implement a certain drug testing strategy.

Elevated recreational and healthcare cannabis use amongst personnel is probably to lead to a larger price of constructive drug tests. In contrast to alcohol, which has a half-life, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive element in cannabis, can remain in an individual’s technique for an extended period of time. Therefore, an employee who legally utilised recreational cannabis on Saturday could nevertheless test constructive for THC the following Thursday. Additional, an escalating quantity of personnel are prescribed cannabis for healthcare purposes.

Employers in states like Wisconsin, which has not legalized healthcare or recreational cannabis but is surrounded by states that have, will face exclusive challenges as personnel commence to travel to neighboring states to legally use cannabis and return to Wisconsin with THC nevertheless detectable in their systems. Even though some private employers may possibly be tempted to loosen up their drug-absolutely free workplace policies so as not to alienate existing or possible personnel, federal grantees and covered contractors will have to nevertheless abide by their obligations beneath the DFWA.

If your enterprise is a federal grantee or covered federal contractor and you have concerns about your business’s drug-absolutely free workplace policy, please make contact with Christopher K. Schuele, Shannon Toole, or your Reinhart lawyer.


1. This does not contain the states—including Wisconsin—that have legalized low tetrahydrocannabinol (TCH)/higher cannabidiol ( CBD) merchandise.

The content material of this short article is intended to give a basic guide to the topic matter. Specialist assistance need to be sought about your certain situations.

Supply: http://www.mondaq.com/unitedstates/x/868980/meals+drugs+law/Navigating+ Cannabis+Legalization+as+a+Federal+Contractor+or+Grant+Recipient