Q&A – Florida Employers Drug Testing In The Age Of Medical Marijuana

Today’s entry - 1) There shouldn't be any doubt about certain jobs where drug usage and impaired judgment could prove hazardous. EG. Airline Pilots; the security forces and the military; or any job which requires precision. 2) Are there new rules about marijuana at work in Florida? 

Bottom Line: The new state laws about marijuana use can be confusing for employers and employees. So, let’s start with the first note that suggests certain jobs shouldn’t allow anyone to work with impaired judgment. That’s still the case based on federal law. Job in aviation, defense/military, hazardous materials/energy, and transportation have mandated drug testing, which includes testing for marijuana, based on federal law.

Also, because marijuana is federally illegal, any federal employee working in Florida may not use marijuana in any form. 

Florida participates in the federal Drug-Free Workplace Program. This enables any employer in the state to apply for random drug testing programs and use federal standards for violations. This means that any employer may decide that marijuana use, including medical marijuana, isn’t allowed as a condition of employment. This is the most fluid aspect of what’s changing across the state right now. The combination of state-sanctioned medical marijuana use along with a tight labor market has led to fewer employers choosing to use the Drug-Free Workplace program and drug test. 

Using information from the Society for Human Resource Management, approximately 80% of Florida’s employers had some form of drug test program in place a decade ago. Last year just 57% of employers were still testing. Aside from drug testing, given that Florida’s an “At-will” work state, employers can choose to apply restrictions on employment if they don’t discriminate based on race, age, gender or religion. 

A lot has changed with drug testing in Florida. A lot continues to change. Employers are balancing changing state laws and a tight labor market while employees are evaluating medical options that weren’t previously available but may conflict with employer policy. If you’re potentially impacted, you should inquire about your employer or a perspective employer’s policy. 

Submit your questions using one of these methods. 

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

Twitter: @brianmuddradio

Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1

Photo by: Getty Images North America



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