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Vermont legalizes recreational marijuana, provides protections for employers

Vermont will become the ninth state to approve nonmedicinal use of marijuana but the law, which goes into effect on July 1, 2018, will not require employers to permit or accommodate the use or possession of marijuana in the workplace.

Employers in Vermont may continue to implement and enforce drug-free workplace policies regarding marijuana in the workplace.

If an employee is found to be in violation of such a policy, the new law makes clear that no cause of action arises under the statute if the employee was fired “for violating a policy that restricts or prohibits the use of marijuana by employees.”

Employers in Vermont can still conduct pre-employment drug screening if the applicant has been extended a conditional offer of employment based on the receipt of a negative drug test result.

However, it is important to note that Vermont employers are prohibited from conducting random drug testing, except when required by federal law or based on reasonable suspicion.

Source: Ogletree Deakins, 2/8/2018

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