Employment Law

MRTA amended Labor Law statutes that provide legal protections

Employers are required to adhere to standards established in MRTA, however, this law does NOT limit the authority of an employer to establish policies and procedures prohibiting employees from being impaired by cannabis in the workplace, and employers are not required to engage in any conduct that would otherwise violate federal law or cause the employer to lose federal funding.

Workplace Policies: Employers may create policies which prohibit employees from performing employment duties while impaired by cannabis.

Protections for Medical Use: Employees certified as patients in the Medical Cannabis Program must be treated as having a “disability” and are protected from discriminatory action based solely on their status as medical cannabis patients.

Unlawful Employer Conduct: Pursuant to Labor Law § 201-d, it is unlawful for an employer to refuse to hire, employ, or license someone, or to discharge an employee or otherwise discriminate against an individual in compensation, promotion or terms, conditions or privileges of employment, as a result of an individual’s use of cannabis in accordance with state law outside of work hours, off of the employer’s premises, and without use of the employer’s equipment or other property.

Lawful Employer Conduct: Employers can prohibit an employee from engaging in cannabis use and take action related to the use of cannabis, under the following circumstances:

• Where an employer is required to do so by state or federal statute, regulation, ordinance, or other state or federal government mandate.

• Where an employee is impaired by the use of cannabis while working and such impairment decreases or lessen the employee’s performance, or interferes with an employer’s obligation to provide a safe and healthy workplace.

• Where the employer’s actions would require such employer to commit an act that would cause the employer to be in violation of federal law or would result in the loss of a federal contract or federal funding.