5 tips for HR professionals while preparing for the legalization of marijuana 2020
Cannabis has long been publicized for its calming properties. Lately, however, it’s been having the opposite impact on HR professionals, as they navigate through various court cases and state laws concerning marijuana to create better drug-testing policies and procedures.
Many are opting for HR software to keep track of labor, facilitate day-to-day employee management, and solve the majority of HR-related challenges.
Once criminalized, demonized, and the target of multibillion dollars of failed law enforcement, cannabis is now legal for recreational use for adults in 10 states, as well as D.C.
New Jersey is on its way to roll. Apparently, people love pot. To be fair, some of them also require it. Medically prescribed marijuana is permitted in 33 states as of 2020, with Missouri and Utah being the most recent states to allow it.
From the looks of it, 2020 could be a big year for marijuana legalization.
For businesses, especially multistate ones, this societal and legal shift is making HR professionals rethink the zero-tolerance approach which only prevailed a few years ago. Policies like this may now boast a disadvantage, competitively speaking.
With all things considered, HR professionals should closely navigate current policies regarding marijuana usage and update or switch them around as they see fit. Furthermore, as an HR professional, you should educate yourself on the matter and share your views and opinions with staff regarding how off-duty access to marijuana could play out at the workplace.
While you are at it, use the sudden shift in cannabis laws as a rationale to evaluate all your company policies.
That said, here are 5 tips for HR professionals while preparing for the legalization of marijuana in 2020.
#1. No Smoking While Working
Whether or not cannabis becomes legal everywhere; HR professionals have the right to set strict strict rules for non-medical use of cannabis in the workplace. Remember, a prescribed drug doesn’t entitle an employee to be impaired during working hours. Employees must come to work sober.
However, for employees who spend most of their time working outside (e.g., security guard jobs, deliver work, etc.), monitoring them 24/7 can be challenging. In cases like this, it’s better to talk to them privately about your concerns. You can also provide tips on marijuana detox and how to avoid consumption while working.
#2. Organize Meetings Before Planning Your Policy
Your policies need to support real-world concerns. Therefore, you should conduct consultations to identify possible sources of conflict. We recommend having a comprehensive discussion with your legal counsel and employee reps on the matter. This will create room for new ideas and inputs, creating a one-size-fits-all policy altogether.
#3. Include the Right Group of Individuals
Developing effective policies requires the involvement of the right group of people. When creating a policy regarding workplace impairment, it’s crucial to organize a strong committee involving representatives from legal departments and communications, select employees and unions to enforce steady rules across the organization.
The committee should review policies on a regular basis.
In industries where employees have to use heavy machinery, working under the influence should not be allowed. Routine drug tests are also required.
#4. Apply Your Policy
Before implementing your policies, take time to train each person who isn’t an employee but has a significant role to play. They should know the enforcement measures beforehand, as well as the purpose of the new or updated policies.
On top of that, your company should be effective in terms of communicating the use of policies to adopt organization-wide buy-in. Policies, regardless of who is communicating them, must be introduced objectively, in a detailed manner.
#5. Clearing Doubts
You should most definitely employ strict policies against smoking weed during working hours. However, we also recommend not to neglect any queries concerning the medicinal use of marijuana by any of your employees. Have them disclose any accommodations required.
All HR professionals should respect employees’ right to privacy on these matters, especially when it comes to medical issues. That does not, however, indicate you cannot inquire about their medical records. As an HR professional, it’s your duty to ensure the effectiveness of your employees at work. In this research you may also find other useful tips for HR professionals while preparing for the legalization of marijuana.
You may insist on them to carefully use medicinal marijuana in situations where they’re fully dependent on the herb to possibly tolerate pain or function well.
To Sum Up
To create an effective cannabis policy for workplaces, business owners and insurance companies need to work together and come up with a solution that fits everyone.
The Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA) has detailed materials on cannabis legalization that will help you in creating appropriate workplace policies.
Its time employers started treating medical and recreational marijuana as two different streams to help them identify when to accommodate marijuana use for medical purposes.
The above tactics should help reduce your confusion and improve transparency regarding marijuana legalization at the workplace.