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Reminder: Maine’s marijuana discrimination ban went into effect on Feb. 1

The state’s “Question 1 – An Act to Legalize Marijuana” legislation protects workers from adverse employment actions based on their use of marijuana outside of the workplace.

The Act was approved on Nov. 8, 2016, and went into effect on Feb. 1, 2018.

The Act prohibits employers from refusing to employ or otherwise penalize any person over the age of 21 based on that person’s consumption of marijuana outside of an employer’s property.

In light of this new legislation, the Maine Department of Labor has removed marijuana from the list of drugs for which an employer may test in its “model” applicant drug-testing policy, according to the law firm Littler Mendelson.

The Act does not change Maine’s employers’ rights to prohibit the possession of marijuana in the workplace and the disciplining of employees who are “under the influence” or marijuana while at work. However, a spokesperson from the Maine Department of Labor stated that a positive drug test alone will not suffice to demonstrate that a worker was under the influence of marijuana.

More information, including links and updates on the most recent gubernatorial and legislative developments, can be found at the recreational marijuana webpage established by the Maine legislature here.

Source: Littler Mendelson P.C., 2/6/2018

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