How Will State Employers Deal With Stoned Workers?

politics_phone1.jpg
Rebekah Zemansy of Cronkite News Service tells us how lawmakers are dealing with the issue of medical marijuana in the workplace:

Now that Arizona voters have approved the use of medical marijuana, employers need new ways to deal with employees who are impaired for any reason, a state lawmaker said Tuesday, Feb. 15.

“Employers were left with their hands tied because they didn’t know what to do when it came to dealing with impaired workers who came to the workplace,” Rep. Kimberly Yee, R-Phoenix, told the House Committee on Employment and Regulatory Affairs.

Yee authored a bill, HB 2541, that would give employers the right to reassign or put on leave someone who works in a “safety-sensitive” position if they have a “good-faith belief” that person has used or intends to use a legal or illegal drug that causes impairment.

This judgment could be based on a drug test, though the bill’s definitions of good faith include observed conduct, lawful video surveillance or “information reported by a person believed to be reliable.”

Businesses would have immunity from litigation when taking any of the actions covered by the measure.

The committee endorsed the bill on 6-2 vote despite concerns raised by dissenters and even some who voted in favor that the bill could grant employers too much power at the expense of employees’ rights.