Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
On March 31, 2021, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into legislation the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) which, efficient instantly, legalized the leisure use of marijuana merchandise for adults within the state aged 21 or older, in accordance with a news release on the website of Governor Cuomo.
The MRTA (Senate Bill S854A) additionally prohibits employers from discriminating in opposition to employees primarily based on the authorized use or possession of marijuana merchandise whereas off responsibility and outdoors the office, with few exceptions, and supplies a non-public proper of motion for workers claiming to be harmed by such alleged discrimination.
“This can be a historic day in New York – one which rights the wrongs of the previous by placing an finish to harsh jail sentences, embraces an business that can develop the Empire State’s financial system, and prioritizes marginalized communities so people who have suffered essentially the most would be the first to reap the advantages.” Governor Cuomo stated.
Nevertheless, the MRTA permits employers to ban marijuana use or possession throughout work hours, on the employer’s office, and whereas utilizing an employer’s tools or different property. Employers can also take adverse action in opposition to workers who have interaction in off-duty marijuana use below sure circumstances.
As well as, an employer could prohibit and take opposed motion in opposition to marijuana customers below the MRTA primarily based on an worker’s office “impairment” proven by particular signs. The Act doesn’t excuse people from driving whereas impaired by marijuana below New York Driving Beneath the Affect (DUI) legal guidelines.
Whereas the MRTA doesn’t prohibit drug testing or preempt federal legislation or regulation prohibiting the usage of marijuana, employers can’t reject an applicant or take opposed motion in opposition to an worker primarily based solely on marijuana use away from the office or testing optimistic for marijuana on a work-related drug test.
The MRTA establishes an Workplace of Hashish Administration to supervise and regulate the brand new adult-use hashish program. Whereas retail gross sales of marijuana are usually not anticipated to start till 2022, the legalized use of marijuana grew to become efficient instantly. A replica of the MRTA is at www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2021/S854.
The speed of urine drug testing positivity within the U.S. workforce increased to a sixteen-year high in 2019, climbing to 4.5 p.c, the very best stage since 2003, in accordance with an analysis by Quest Diagnostics. Marijuana positivity within the U.S. workforce elevated almost 11 p.c in urine testing from 2018 to 2019 and 29 p.c since 2015.
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