NEW YORK - If you work in New York State your employer is no longer allowed to test you for marijuana -in most cases- even if you smell like pot. New York State’s Labor Department issued the guidance on Tuesday.
Only if you were visibly high can the employer step in. The guidance specifically states "observable signs of use that do not indicate impairment on their own cannot be cited as an articulable symptom of impairment."
That said, employers are allowed to ban workers from possessing pot while on the job.
"It defies logic," said employment lawyer Andrew Lieb. Lieb says the new guidance regarding legalized recreational marijuana is going to hurt employers.
"An employer's handcuffed for doing anything against marijuana," Lieb said.
"As if the workplace weren't complicated enough with the existing employment laws that you have to navigate and then COVID and vaccine mandates added a whole new complexity. And now this in New York. It makes it really difficult," said Greg Giangrande, Chief Human Resources Officer with the company Ellucian.
Recreational marijuana was legalized in New York back in March allowing New Yorkers to legally possess up to three ounces of cannabis outside the home and up to five pounds at home.
You’re also allowed to smoke in public or smoking tobacco is permitted, but not inside schools, workplaces, or cars. Cannabis is now off the list of controlled substances and now allows people 21 in order to use the drug.
It remains illegal on the federal level.
Workers who are required to be tested under federal and state law would still get tested, such as commercial vehicle drivers. And the NYPD.
According to the New York Post, a memo was sent out to the officers back in April letting them know no drug screening procedures are still in effect and they’re not allowed to smoke when they’re off duty.