New Guidance on Adult Use Cannabis in the Workplace in New York
In October 2021, the New York Department of Labor (NYDOL) released Adult Use Cannabis And The Workplace – New York Labor Law 201-D, guidance to address some of the most common situations or questions in the workplace related to adult-use cannabis and the state’s Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act.
For instance, this guidance about cannabis use at work or during work hours is quoted from the document:
1. Can employers prohibit use of cannabis during meal or break periods?
Yes, employers may prohibit cannabis during “work hours,” which for these purposes means all time, including paid and unpaid breaks and meal periods, that the employee is suffered, permitted or expected to be engaged in work, and all time the employee is actually engaged in work. Such periods of time are still considered “work hours” if the employee leaves the worksite.
2. Can employers prohibit use of cannabis during periods in which an employee is on-call?
Yes, employers may prohibit cannabis during “work hours,” which includes time that the employee is on-call or “expected to be engaged in work.”
3. Can employers prohibit cannabis possession at work?
Yes, employers may prohibit employees from bringing cannabis onto the employer’s property, including leased and rented space, company vehicles, and areas used by employees within such property (e.g., lockers, desks, etc.).
4. For remote employees, can employers prohibit use in the “worksite”?
The NYDOL does not consider an employee’s private residence being used for remote work a “worksite” within the meaning of the law. However, an employer may act if an employee is exhibiting articulable symptoms of impairment during work hours as described above and may institute a general policy prohibiting use during working hours.
5. Can employers prohibit use when the employee uses a company vehicle?
Yes, employers are permitted to prohibit use in company vehicles or on the employer’s property, even after regular business hours or work shifts.
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