March 29, 2019

Stephanie Dodge Gournis Quoted in Chicago Tribune on Employers Testing for Marijuana after Legalization

Chicago partner Stephanie Dodge Gournis was quoted in a Chicago Tribune article titled “Will employers still test for marijuana if recreational use becomes legal in Illinois? Don't keep a pipe at your desk just yet.” The article discusses the issues that Illinois employers will need to consider if marijuana becomes legal for recreational use.

Illinois law bars employers from discriminating against employees for using legal products outside the workplace, but Stephanie notes that employers still have the right to have drug-free workplace policies, require drug testing and to take action against employees who violate those policies.

“Really, until cannabis becomes declassified as a Schedule I drug, by in large, employers will still have the right to enforce their policies and take disciplinary action in the workplace,” Stephanie said.

Even with drug testing, some employers might choose to remove cannabis testing from their drug screens. Otherwise, some businesses might fall behind in their recruitment of eligible candidates.

“Eventually, it may become more of an employee relations or recruiting issue, particularly for industries that rely on … temporary workers, or workplaces that do most of their recruiting from younger generations,” Stephanie said.

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