Editor’s Note: For PMP’s in-depth coverage of marijuana as it pertains to the pest control workplace, read more:
- How marijuana legalization impacts your pest management business
- Will marijuana legalization hit your bottom line?
As the owner of a pest control company in North Carolina, where marijuana is not yet legal but change could be on the horizon, I have done some research on employee drug testing in light of changing marijuana laws. I’m not a lawyer so please don’t take this as legal advice, but I did a lot of legwork and thought you might find a quick summary of that work helpful.
It is important to note that so far, all states that have legalized recreational marijuana have also created exemptions for workplace drug policies. I take this to mean we all have the right to maintain a drug-free workplace. This is good news as far as I’m concerned. Two important considerations from an implementation standpoint you’ll want to keep in mind:
Be extremely consistent in communicating your policy to all employees. This is especially important with testing and implementation. Have a system to maintain the documentation.
- Divide your employees by safety concerns. If a person is operating a vehicle at work and visiting customers’ homes, her or she is in a much different situation from an office worker. This may help you prioritize drug testing and lessen your burden. It also puts safety and your customers’ concerns as a top priority. Be careful not to divide your employees by age, gender, race or anything like that; doing so exposes you to discrimination lawsuits.
Again, I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. Sometimes it is helpful just to get a broad-brush perspective on these types of issues from a fellow owner working through them, too.
Simon Shaw is president of Pest-X, Kernersville, N.C.
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