Because I Got High

The workplace dilemma of recreational and medical marijuana sparked an interesting discussion in a recent webinar presented by CLM’s Retail, Restaurant, and Hospitality Community

By Eric Gilkey

12:00:00 p.m.
Danielle Goodgion, director of human resources, Texas de Brazil
Sarah Lemmert, associate, Franklin & Prokopik P.C.

12:02:11 p.m.
Sarah Lemmert
“I hope you all appreciate the Afroman reference ‘Because I Got High’ in the title of today’s webinar, which is taking place on April 20. As some of you know, this day is a bit of a ‘folk’ holiday regarding marijuana, so we thought it was appropriate.” 

12:05:00 p.m.
Sarah Lemmert
“There are two main quandaries in dealing with marijuana in workers comp claims. The first is ‘If an employee is injured while high on marijuana, is that a compensable injury?’ Second, ‘Must employers compensate for medical marijuana under workers comp claims?’” 

12:10:29 p.m.
Danielle Goodgion
“It’s interesting to note that a recent Society of Human Resource Management survey done on marijuana use and testing in the workplace reported that 20 percent of employers that responded did not test for marijuana for any of their employees. Those who did test post-accident appeared to remove marijuana from the testing panels, which is interesting.”

12:14:16 p.m.
Sarah Lemmert
“Private sector employers can accommodate the use of medical marijuana if they so choose, unless the private employer receives federal contracts. If employers in states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana allow its use, they risk not meeting their responsibilities under the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988.” 

12:21:28 p.m.
Danielle Goodgion
“When you have employees working with large pieces of meat on giant knives that they are carving tableside for guests like we do, we need those folks to be sober and have full use of their faculties so they are not a danger to themselves, guests, or vendors.”

12:30:24 p.m.
Danielle Goodgion
“It might sound a little strange, but you would be surprised how many times someone will admit to using [drugs recreationally]. If we suspect someone is under the influence of any substance, then we ask them. Half the time, they will admit it.” 

12:33:30 p.m.
Sarah Lemmert
“That’s an interesting way to handle that. Sometimes simply asking the employee ends up being the best and most straight-forward way because then you don’t have to get into the complications of drug testing.” 

Upcoming CLM Webinars

May 16, 2017
Workers Compensation
Pain Management

May 17, 2017
Insurance Coverage
The Dangers That May Lurk in Claims Made Policies: Do They Protect the Insurer or Create Higher Costs?     

May 18, 2017
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Formal Floor Inspections - Are They Worth It?

May 25, 2017
Claims Automation: Improving Outcomes and Mitigating Risks

May 31, 2017
Calculating and Adjusting Routine Loss of Rents Claims 

June 7, 2017
Insurance Fraud
Biomechanical Analysis of Traumatic Brain Injury

June 8, 2017
Construction Claims
Opportunity to Cure and the Right to Repair: A 50 State Survey of Pre-Suit Procedures in Construction Matters

June 15, 2017
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Transgender Employees and Customers: Practical Considerations for Managing Risk and Politics

Register and receive reminders for upcoming webinars at theclm.org/webinars

Eric Gilkey is executive editor of CLM Magazine, a publication of the Claims and Litigation Management (CLM) Alliance. He may be reached at eric.gilkey@TheCLM.org.

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