Risk alert: As employers, CUs encouraged to be aware of evolving marijuana laws

The latest CUNA Mutual Group risk alert cites that, while a growing number of states and municipalities have introduced medical and adult recreational-use laws for marijuana use — with some jurisdictions now regulating an employer’s ability to test for marijuana while providing protections for users — credit unions should note that increased legislative and regulatory support around medicinal and recreational marijuana use can lead to more questions than answers about legal and reputational risks.

The alert states that credit unions should carefully reassess their workplace drug testing policies to be sure they follow existing and/or soon-to-be-effective state and local laws. Several of these laws prohibit employers from taking adverse action against applicants who test positive for marijuana, with exceptions for, “safety-sensitive” positions.

Risk mitigation tips

  • Ensure any employment polices addressing marijuana, cannabis-related products and drug testing are reviewed by employment legal counsel, with particular attention given to carve-outs or protections afforded to recreational versus medicinal users, as well as conflicting language in any state or municipal laws where the credit union has a presence, including remote employees.
  • Evaluate the nature of their workforce and the potential presence of “safety-sensitive” work positions as defined by state or municipal law.
  • Clearly communicate decisions to your workforce that relate to workplace polices, enforcement and testing. Employees should be familiar with all workplace polices, if there are needs for accommodation, and how to request an accommodation.

CUNA Mutual Group’s risk alerts, in addition to additional risk-prevention resources, may be accessed in their Protection Resource Center. Log-in is required.

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