The legalization of marijuana remains a sticky subject for employers, including in Ohio and 26 other states where it remains illegal as of 2016.
Download and share the following infographic, “The Effects of Marijuana Legalization in the U.S. Workplace,” presented by Assurex Global, and check out key discussion points within the industry.
Even with voters rejecting proposals, polls continue to show support for medical marijuana and various types of reform. Proponents say it is just a matter of time before legalization occurs in Ohio and the other hold-out states.
Legalized or not, the use of marijuana can affect insurance coverage in the areas of:
- Life Insurance: It may not be impossible to purchase Life insurance. If an individual lies on a life application, and it’s found out, you’ll be rejected from that and other companies, and be reported to the Medical Information Bureau, or MIB.
- Health Insurance: Health benefits plans are already impacted by tobacco and alcohol usage. Legalizing another drug would also have similar impact.
- Safety & Workers’ Compensation: Carriers are concerned over the issue of violating federal law and the absence of evidence based medical support for marijuana’s use, with many believing its use will have more adverse effects than favorable. Safety issues are obvious to employers, including personal safety and that of co-workers; individuals could be held personally liable.
Other Issues Affecting Employers
In addition, legalizing marijuana affects workplace safety, drug testing, hiring decisions, and employment practices, such as:
- Local business stakeholders say legalizing marijuana could further impact a workplace already marred by an inability to find workers who can pass a drug test. Employers in states where legalization has already occurred are calling for better and more decisive tests.
- Having workers able to smoke cannabis, even off the job, could create confusion in the workplace, and raises the issues surrounding smoke breaks.
- They need to decide whether to follow the new state laws legalizing cannabis, or federal law, which still holds the ban. For employers who receive federal funding, their only recourse is to follow federal law.
- Possibility of lawsuits if employees feel they have been discriminated against, especially for medical marijuana users.
- Employee handbooks outlining policies and consequences will need to be revised or implemented.
Learn more on this and other emerging risk subjects in the Assurex Global Resource Library.
Note: This communication is for informational purposes only. Although every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, Oswald makes no guarantees of any kind and cannot be held liable for any outdated or incorrect information.