|Type of paper:||Presentation|
|Categories:||Human Resources Marijuana legalization|
Currently, in Canada, Marijuana commonly known as Cannabis Sativa is legal only for medicinal use and merely under certain conditions. Marijuana production, trafficking, and possession are however still illegal under the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act in Canada. The Canadian government stands all the same dedicated to introducing legislature regarding the regulation and legalization of marijuana. It is legislation that probably would come into power once passed into law by parliament as well as once the rules get developed.
Marijuana legalization brings about the classification of impairment as a type of disability in the workplace especially for employees with addiction disabilities hence making it a requirement for any given employer to accommodate employees who use medical marijuana subsequently. The human rights statute requires that any given employee with a disability should be adapted accordingly to any given workplace (Goldsmith et al., 2015). Therefore there is a need for an employer to find the most suitable workplace accommodation for the disabled employees.
However, when it comes to the accommodation of employees with a disability, for instance, those who use medical marijuana, the responsibility to accommodate comes along with limits. Any given employee with medical marijuana prescriptions is for example not entitled to stay impaired at work or preferably during working hours. An employee with medical marijuana prescription remains also prohibited from compromising his or her safety or the safety of others.
The accommodation duty substantially extends to the disabled employees who use medical marijuana as required by the federal human rights legislation. In this case, these disabled employees with medical marijuana prescriptions are entitled to a similar accommodation as it is the case for any other disabled employee with therapeutic drug prescription. Employees with addiction disability are also entitled to accommodation however the accommodation obligation also comes along with restrictions.
There is a need to reexamine the current workplace policies that specifically address the drug and alcohol use. One of the significant obligations is the responsibility to accommodate employees with disabilities also considering that medicinal marijuana is at times used to treat health illnesses that constitute a disability. According to (Phillips et al., 2015) Employers, therefore, ought to take reasonable precautions especially when it comes to maintaining workplace safety besides ensuring to prohibit any impairment cases in the workplace.
Therefore to meet set obligations, when it comes to the accommodation of employees with disability especially for those with medical marijuana prescriptions, employers ought to consider providing equal accommodation measures to those of disabled employees. Some of the safety measures, in this case, include the shifting of employees out of safety-sensitive positions, alteration of employee's duties as well as provision of frequent breaks to the employees (Lynk 2013). Addressing the issue of medical marijuana use in the workplace is more than vital in ensuring that employees remain productive despite any disabilities present.
It is also essential for a manager to inquire for therapeutic info from any given employee's medic or instead seek help from an autonomous medical assessor when questions pertaining an employee's fitness for duty arise as well as devising appropriate accommodation strategies. Seeking legal guidance on accommodating employees with a disability is the way to go especially in this case when it comes to the accommodation of employees with medical marijuana prescriptions. Proper accommodation comes along with numerous advantages that in the end comes in handy to ensure that employers stay in line with their commitments.
The current legal status of marijuana singles out its legality for medicinal purposes only. It is an aspect that for example in this case in Canada has seen enormous support and fought for marijuana legalization. With the bright future of marijuana legalization, the current and changing legal status has created extraordinary challenges for employers thus posing a huge need for employers to make radical changes to their workplace practices and policies.
When it comes to the accommodation of employees with medical marijuana prescriptions in any given workplace an employer should opt to start by reflecting into place the practices in place that accommodate employees with drug prescriptions that in one way or another impairs their work. According to (Lynk 2013). Practices for instance related to alcohol and cigarette use, are an excellent orientation path through which an employer can implement similar practices to limit non-medical marijuana use in the workplace.
It is factual that in the near future marijuana policies in the workplace will undergo enormous changes. There exists a zero tolerance to the current state regarding marijuana use by employees. It is however likely that zero tolerance policies in the workplace will be unenforceable in the future considering the intended legalization. Legalization of marijuana use might also bring forth debates and negotiations for inclusion under health and benefit plans for medical marijuana prescriptions. It is also certain that marijuana use will face numerous legal processes as time passes due to the abundant issues and uncertainties in line with marijuana use. The courts of law will also play a significant role in ensuring that they provide lessons specifically to employers on how to efficiently fulfill human rights requirements besides guaranteeing safety and productivity in the workplace.
Demers, D. (2017). Legal Access to Marijuana-The Workplace Impact.
Els, C., Amin, A., & Straube, S. (2016). Marijuana and the Workplace. Canadian Journal of Addiction, 7(4).
Goldsmith, R. S., Targino, M. C., Fanciullo, G. J., Martin, D. W., Hartenbaum, N. P., White, J. M., & Franklin, P. (2015). Medical marijuana in the workplace: challenges and management options for occupational physicians. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine, 57(5), 518.
Lynk, M. (2013). The Duty to Accommodate in the Canadian Workplace: Leading Principles and Recent Cases. Ontario Federation of Labour.
Phillips, J. A., Holland, M. G., Baldwin, D. D., Gifford-Meuleveld, L., Mueller, K. L., Perkison, B., ... & Dreger, M. (2015). Marijuana in the workplace: Guidance for occupational health professionals and employers: Joint guidance statement of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses and the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Workplace health & safety, 63(4), 139-164.
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