The law does not protect the conduct of out-of-service employees that creates a material conflict of interest related to trade secrets, protected information or other business assets or interests of the employer. The Act also explicitly authorizes employers to take action as part of an established substance abuse program or workplace policy, including such provisions in a collective agreement. For example, a workplace regulation prohibiting the consumption of alcoholic beverages before registering for work may be exempt from the protection of the new law. Of course, the behaviour of an employee during working hours (e.g. under the influence of alcohol) clearly escapes the protection of this new law. Employer-sponsored drug testing programs are more important. While illicit drug use is not protected by the new law, the use of legal drugs (such as prescription drugs) is protected. Therefore, any drug testing program that does not effectively distinguish between an employee`s legal and illegal drug use may be against the law. As a reminder, the Drug Free Workplace Act requires certain federal contractors and all federal recipients to make good faith efforts to obtain drug-free jobs as a condition of obtaining a contract or grant from a federal agency.

However, the Drug-Free Workplace Act does not explicitly prohibit federal contractors from hiring or employing a person who legally uses marijuana outside the workplace and does not require drug testing. Therefore, MRTA exceptions can only be limited to federal contractors subject to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) drug testing requirements for security-related and other DOT regulated positions. Federal contractors should consult with an employment consultant to find out if job protection applies to legal off-duty/off-premises recreational behavior, including cannabis use, under Section 201-d of the Labor Code on the basis of a federal contract or subsidy. New York has long protected workers from discrimination based on an employee`s lawful off-duty conduct, including political activities, the lawful use of consumer products — such as alcohol and tobacco — and other lawful recreational activities outside of work hours and off the employer`s premises. The MRTA amended Section 201-d of the New York Labor Act to specifically include protection from the legal use of cannabis outside of working hours in the context of employment. The Off-Service Conduct Act provides for certain notable exceptions to its protections, including: And an employer does not violate this law if it acts on the belief that: (i) the employer`s actions were prescribed by law, order, order or other governmental mandate, (ii) the employer`s actions under an established drug or alcohol abuse program. or a workplace policy, employment contract or collective agreement, or (iii) the person`s actions have been considered illegal or habitually wrong, incompetent or misconducted by an employer or previous employer. 31. In March 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the New York Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), making New York the latest state to join a growing list of states and territories legalizing recreational cannabis use for adults 21 and older. Effective immediately, the new law extends employment protections for legal off-duty conduct to cannabis use, as outlined below. Since the changes are effective immediately, employers should review their employee policies and procedures, including employee handbooks, to determine what changes may be required.

It is important to note that while the MRTA prohibits employers from taking adverse action in response to recreational cannabis use outside of work hours, it does not prohibit employers from maintaining a drug-free workplace. As a result, employers may continue to prohibit employees from consuming, consuming or possessing cannabis during work hours or on company premises. As previously mentioned, the new cannabis exemptions also allow employers to discipline workers who are impaired on the job. While these protections are relatively broad with respect to cannabis use by workers outside the workplace, there are exceptions. One exception is the Off-Service Conduct Act, which states that employers can fire and dismiss individuals. Other examples include, but are not limited to: Most employers are aware of workplace discrimination laws that protect race, gender, disability, age, religion, etc. In New York, there is also an additional law that prohibits discrimination against employees based on their lawful conduct outside of working hours. As with all good laws, there are exceptions. Yes. Nothing in the MRTA requires an employer to permit or accommodate employees who consume, consume or possess cannabis during work hours or on company premises. In addition, the MRTA clarifies that an employer does not violate Article 201-d of the Labour Code if an employer takes an adverse action related to off-duty cannabis use because the employee is impaired while on duty.

Impairment in the workplace may be indicated if an employee, (5) This section does not apply to persons who have entered into a contract for professional services with an employer on an individual basis and the uniqueness of the services provided allows the employer to restrict, under the terms of the contract for services, the off-service activities that may be performed by that person. First of all, it is necessary to understand the context of the problem. New York has long maintained protections for off-duty worker conduct under Section 201-d of New York labor law. This law prohibits employers from discriminating against employees for acts such as alcohol consumption, lawful recreational activities, or participation in political activities. Under the MRTA, the law now explicitly protects cannabis use. Keep your business up-to-date with new laws and regulations with Pre-Putile`s free information resources. Contact a sales representative today. With respect to cannabis use outside of working hours, Section 201-d of New York Labor Law now prohibits an employer from refusing to hire, employ, license, terminate, or otherwise discriminate against a person on the following grounds: The MRTA is also adding new cannabis-related exemptions to the hours of rest law. Employers are not breaking the law if they take action related to cannabis use in the following circumstances: For most employers, the impact of this new law will be limited to the day-to-day operations of the business.