State Law Change Notice:
New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act (CUMCA) – Effective July 2, 2019
The Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act (CUMCA) prohibits employers from discriminating and taking adverse action against an applicant or employee who is a registered medical marijuana user if the adverse action is based solely on the employee’s status as a medical marijuana patient.
An “adverse employment action” is defined as refusing to hire or employ an individual, barring or discharging an individual from employment, requiring an individual to retire from employment or discriminating against an individual in compensation or in any terms, conditions or privileges of employment.
What does this mean for my business? The law protects registered medical marijuana users; therefore, employers are encouraged to review their Discrimination and Substance Abuse policies to ensure medical marijuana users are protected from adverse action and/or discrimination. If an employer does not have a Discrimination and/or Substance Abuse policy in place, it is suggested, not required, that employers develop them according to the law.
Since the law doesn’t prohibit employers from creating and/or enforcing a drug free workplace, it does, however, require employers who have drug testing practices in place to provide written notification to any employee who tests positive for marijuana outlining the employee’s right to provide proper medical documentation to explain the positive test result.
Employers are encouraged to work with HR or legal consultation before making policy changes to capture the full requirements of the law.