As more and more places legalize the use of weed, there are increasing questions about how individuals can use it. This fact is also accurate in areas where legalization is relatively recent. One of the most popular questions about weed is its use in the workplace. Since the Canadian government legalized weed for non-medical use, employers are facing new and significant challenges. If you are an employer currently in Burnaby, BC, you might be wondering what some essential things you need to know are. Being an employer in Burnaby, you must be aware of the different aspects of weed consumption at the workplace. Only when you have access to the correct information will you be able to make the right decisions. Let us look at six crucial things that employers in Burnaby B.C. must know regarding the consumption of weed at the workplace.
6 Things the Burnaby Employers Should Know
Below is a detailed list of the six most important things that Burnaby B.C. employers must know regarding using weed at the workplace. If you are an employer in Burnaby B.C. concerned about your employees using weed, the following list can be handy for you. You can use this list to help you navigate how you should deal with the use of weed at the workplace.
- What is the Latest Legal Status of Weed in Canada?
On October 17, 2018, the Government of Canada legalized the recreational use of weed in the country. Further, in October 2019, the Government of Canada legalized the sale and production of cannabis extracts and edible cannabis products. Therefore, weed is currently legal for both medicinal and recreational use in Canada. The legalization of weed means that individuals are now free to use it in Canada. Due to this recent change in the law, employers in Canada face new challenges regarding using weed in the workplace.
- Does the Legalization of Weed Allow Employees to be Impaired at Work?
The simple answer is no. Although weed is legal for non-medical uses, employers still have the right to set rules for weed consumption in the workplace. The use of weed in the workplace is similar to the use of alcohol. Many employers treat weed in the workplace at par with alcohol, and they set the rules accordingly. For example, employers have the right to prohibit the use of weed at work.
Further, employers also have the right to prohibit employees from working under the influence of weed. Employers have absolute discretion when setting the disciplinary policy regarding the non-medical use of weed in the workplace. Employers are free to enforce these rules according to their internal policies.
- Does the Duty of the Employer to Accommodate Extend to Medical Weed?
Although employers have the right to regulate the non-medical use of weed in the workplace, they still must accommodate medical use. As per the provincial legislation and federal human rights legislation, employers must accommodate disabled employees who rely on medical weed. The employees dependent on medical weed should receive the same benefits as other employees who have prescribed medication.
- How Far Does the Duty of the Employer to Accommodate Employees Using Medical Weed Extend?
There are certain limits to how far the duty to accommodate extends. For example, a mere prescription for medical weed alone is insufficient to entitle an employee to use weed at the workplace. Similarly, a prescription alone does not give any employee the right to violate their safety or the safety of others around them. Further, a prescription for medical weed also does not entitle an employee to smoke weed in the workplace. Prescriptions for medical weed cannot be justifications for late arrivals or unexcused absences. Despite these limitations, employers are still responsible for making suitable accommodations in the workplace for disabled employees who have a prescription for the medical use of weed.
- What Can Employers in Burnaby BC Do to Meet Their Obligations?
As you can see, employers do have some obligations to fulfill to accommodate disabled employees who rely on the medical use of weed. Employers need to strike a balance between accommodating the needs of disabled employees and ensuring that everyone in the office is safe at all times. Being impaired at work can understandably lead to unwanted circumstances that employers need to avoid at all costs. Therefore, employees can take a few steps to accommodate disabled employees who rely on medical weed. For example, these measures could include giving those employees frequent breaks, adjusting their schedules, removing them from safety-sensitive areas, and even amending the nature of their duties. Making these accommodations will benefit not only those former employees but also everyone present at the workplace. A few legal judgments comment upon how employers should react to a request to accommodate someone who needs to use medical weed. If you are uncertain about tackling the situation, you can even contact lawyers to seek legal guidance. It would be best to have a written, uniform policy that treats everyone fairly. Consulting individuals from the legal field before enforcing a policy regarding the use of weed is the best course of action. This consultation will allow you to adequately prepare for any situation that you may face in the future. Having a uniform policy will make your life more manageable, making your employees feel more comfortable.
- What is the Future of Weed in the Workplace?
Now that we know how employers can accommodate employees at the workplace let us briefly look at the potential future of weed. Given the recent legalization of weed, employers may need to make certain adjustments. However, if employers follow the fundamental guiding principles of treating disabled employees, they should not face any issues. The status of using weed at the workplace is bound to evolve in the future. The most important factor that employers need to do is to stay updated on the laws and regulations.
Using weed at the workplace for medical reasons is not too uncommon. Especially with the recent legalization of weed in Canada, the use of weed will inevitably increase. As an employer, there are specific responsibilities that you need to adhere to to ensure that your workplace is entirely safe. At the same time, employers should ensure that all their employees who rely on medical weed always feel comfortable. The most beneficial aspect in this regard is learning from other people. As long as you keep yourself updated about the latest regulations, you will not face any issues.