Can Your Boss Still Test You For Marijuana If You Work in New York?
Many New Yorkers waited for years to see if the state would finally legalize the recreational use of marijuana. And while it may have finally happened, we still had a lot of questions. Can your employer still drug test you for weed? In late March, then-Governor Cuomo officially signed a law that will allow the legal use of recreational cannabis in New York State for those 21 and older. The New York Department of Labor has some answers for our questions..
The new guidelines say that unless you look stoned on the job, most employers can not test you for marijuana. If you go to work reeking of weed, your boss can't fire you. This doesn't mean you can necessarily bring weed to work though, as employers still have the right to not allow a worker to have it on the job site. Your boss also can tell you not to smoke it during while on your lunch break, according to the laws. Marijuana is also still illegal on a federal level, so federal and state laws still remain in effect for some employees, such as police officers. Some leaders, such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, have pushed to federally legalize weed.
So, the answer is that most employees are now exempt. Of course, the new guidelines say that an employer must provide “objectively observable" proof that weed may be effecting an employee's job performance, so this still opens a bit of a gray area in some cases. However, the DOL has strict rules before an employer can penalize an employee over impairment.
New York's marijuana laws currently allows one to possess up to three ounces of cannabis. But while marijuana can now be grown, bought and sold, it is still expected to take quite a while for before dispensaries can open across the state.