With the recent expansion of legislation permitting the
production, sale and use of marijuana for medical purposes,
employers should begin to think about crafting a policy which
addresses medical marijuana use in their workplace.
For example, the smoking of regular cigarettes is not permitted
in buildings or near entrances and exists to buildings.
Employees who want a smoke usually need to head further afield
during their breaks. But is it proper to ask the same of
employees who are smoking medical marijuana and may have a
disability? Is it proper to make them smoke in the presence
of others, so that their disability is no longer a private
matter? Is it proper to have regular smokers ingesting
medical marijuana smoke if all smokers are required to smoke in the
These are but some of the questions which an employer should be
considering when drafting a policy to address the use of
medical marijuana in the workplace. Other questions to be
considered include the following:
Should a designated room be provided on the premises in which
medical marijuana users can smoke on a private and confidential
What rules will apply to the employee? Should he or she
be required to cease working and report to a manager in the event
of feeling unwell after medicating? Should he or she be
required to refrain from operating a motor vehicle or machinery for
work purposes after medicating?
What documentation will be required from the employee's
treating healthcare professional?
What steps will be taken by the employer in order to ensure
that the needs of the employee are being met, without compromising
the employee's ability to perform his or her job, or the safety
of the workplace?
Who at the company must know about and approve an
employee's use of medical marijuana in the workplace?
What steps will be taken in order to otherwise keep that
There are no guidelines in place to assist employers with
drafting policies such as this, although reference to policies
which provide for accommodations to disabled employees may be a
good starting point. The important thing for an employer is
to be aware of the fact that it is best to have a policy in place
in advance of these questions being raised by an employee seeking
to medicate at work, and that we can assist with ensuring that your
workplace policy strikes the proper legal balance with respect to
meeting the needs of all potentially affected individuals.
Dentons is a global firm driven to provide you with the
competitive edge in an increasingly complex and interconnected
marketplace. We were formed by the March 2013 combination of
international law firm Salans LLP, Canadian law firm Fraser Milner
Casgrain LLP (FMC) and international law firm SNR Denton.
Dentons is built on the solid foundations of three highly
regarded law firms. Each built its outstanding reputation and
valued clientele by responding to the local, regional and national
needs of a broad spectrum of clients of all sizes –
individuals; entrepreneurs; small businesses and start-ups; local,
regional and national governments and government agencies; and
mid-sized and larger private and public corporations, including
international and global entities.
Now clients benefit from more than 2,500 lawyers and
professionals in 79 locations in 52 countries across Africa, Asia
Pacific, Canada, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Russia and
the CIS, the UK and the US who are committed to challenging the
status quo to offer creative, actionable business and legal
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances. Specific Questions relating to
this article should be addressed directly to the author.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Ten days following the election, join us for a discussion with Gary Doer, former Canadian Ambassador to the US, and Gordon Giffin, US Ambassador to Canada under Bill Clinton, to discuss how the new President and Congressional makeup will shape US-Canada relations for years to come.
On November 8, 2016, the United States will go to the polls to elect their 45th president. Whether it is Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, this decision will profoundly shape American policy for the next four to eight years. As our largest trading partner and neighbour to the south, the next US administration will influence a broad range of policy issues that directly impact Canada. These include the future of NAFTA and the TPP, the Arctic and geo-politics, the renewal of the Softwood Lumber Agreement, and the energy sector.
On Thursday, September 22, 2016, Dentons hosted a panel discussion about the management of liabilities and risks associated with environmental crises, including potential liabilities for directors and officers and provided insight into risk and liability techniques associated with environmental crisis management.
Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
On October 13, 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada denied leave to appeal an Ontario Court of Appeal decision which ordered an employer to pay a former employee 37 months of salary and benefits following termination.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).