Employee Benefit Guidance & Compliance Solutions

Posts Tagged "maggie johnson"

Medical Marijuana In The Workplace – Update For New Jersey Employers

By on Jun 5, 2019 in Human Resources | 0 comments

Medical Marijuana In The Workplace – Update for New Jersey Employers By Maggie Johnson     Recreational marijuana use is not yet legalized in New Jersey or New York despite recent attempts by each state’s legislators to do so. However, recreational marijuana use, if legalized, would not necessarily present a problem for employers. As a comparison, alcohol is legal, but employers have the right to prohibit its consumption during working hours and in the workplace. Surely, the same rule would apply to recreational marijuana. But what about medical marijuana? The New Jersey Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act (“CUMMA”) authorizes patients and their primary caregivers who register with the New Jersey Department of Health to possess medical marijuana that has been dispensed by a New Jersey Alternate Treatment Center. Thus, employers may be concerned about employees’ usage of marijuana, prescribed by a physician, for medical purposes. If an employee has a prescription for medical marijuana and tests positive on the Company’s random drug test, for example, is that test result excused because the employee has a legal prescription for the drug? Would an employer be expected to provide a “reasonable accommodation” for the use of medical marijuana for an employee with a disability? The first thing to remember is that CUMMA is a state law. Under federal law, marijuana is still illegal. So let’s turn to a case from August 2018 for some guidance. In Cotto v Ardagh Glass Packing, Inc., et al, Mr. Cotto, an Ardagh Glass Packing employee was a forklift operator for the company. Mr. Cotto was injured on the job and took a medical leave of absence to recover. Mr. Cotto was prescribed and used medical marijuana for pain management for injuries he suffered several years ago (not associated with his on-the-job injury). When Mr. Cotto was ready to return to work after his medical leave of absence he was required to pass a drug test before he could recommence his job duties. Mr. Cotto could not pass that drug test because of his medical marijuana usage. Mr. Cotto produced his medical marijuana card and his prescription from his physician. Despite that Mr. Cotto used marijuana legally for his medical condition, his employer would not...

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Leave Laws and Affected Employers Are Expanding in New Jersey

By on Mar 5, 2019 in Human Resources | 0 comments

Leave Laws and Affected Employers Are Expanding in New Jersey By Maggie Johnson     New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy continues to place his mark on state employment law, making life somewhat easier for working families. It wasn’t long ago that New Jersey employers had to become familiar and comply with the New Jersey Earned Sick and Safe Days Act. Here comes the next phase! On February 19, 2019, amendments to the New Jersey Family Leave and SAFE Acts were signed into law and shall become effective on June 30, 2019. In addition, changes were made to New Jersey’s Family Leave Insurance legislation, which are effective on July 1, 2020. However, be aware that there are also new requirements under the provisions of the aforementioned amended laws that employers must comply with now. These amendments will significantly expand the benefits afforded to New Jersey workers, and provide them with some of the most generous in the country. Let’s review:   New Jersey Family Leave Act (NJFLA)   Previously, the NJFLA applied to employers who had 50 or more employees. On June 30, 2019, the amended law will apply to any employer with 30 or more employees in total, working both inside and outside the state of New Jersey.   Mandated NJFLA Requirements for Employers   On June 30, 2019, applicable employers as mentioned above must provide their employees with job protected family leave of up to 12 weeks in a 24-month period. Leave may be taken in 12 consecutive weeks, intermittently, or on a reduced leave schedule for the following reasons: To care for a family member (parent, parent-in-law, minor or disabled child, spouse, or civil union partner) with a serious health condition To bond with a newborn or adopted child   Immediate NJFLA Requirements for Employers   There are some new provisions of the law that take immediate effect. These require the employer to provide job protected leave for the following reasons: To bond with a newborn child conceived through a gestational carrier agreement To bond with a newly placed foster child For bonding on an intermittent basis (weeks or days) without the employer’s consent (previously had to be agreed to by both the employer and employee) For...

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