In a recent article on Oregon Live, two attorneys; one representing employees and the employers ,essentially said that nothing really has changed at all with Oregon's legalization of marijuana in the employment realm. Here are some key points from the article:
- There is a lot to figure out. Worker's rights have not changed. An employer does not have to accommodate marijuana use, or tolerate symptoms associated with use.
- Employees should know what the employer's drug policy is ahead of time.
- Whether Oregon develops a standard to determine "impairment" is doubtful, given that the federal government continues to law marijuana use and possession.
In the Oregon Workers' Compensation arena, if somebody is injured on the job, and the employer can establish that drug or alcohol intoxication was the major cause of the injury, the injury is not considered a compensable, and would not be covered under Oregon's Workers' Compensation statute. The burden is on the employer to establish impairment, and that the impairment caused the injury.
An employer's drug testing policies can also affect whether somebody terminated for intoxication on the job can obtain or qualify for unemployment benefits.
Even if a person was not intoxicated at the time of injury, a random urinalysis or other drug test may result in termination of employment, which could jeopardize the injured worker's right to workers' compensation benefits, specially wage replacement benefits.
Time will tell how legalization of marijuana affects employees in general, and injured workers.