How Marijuana Pardons Affect Employee Background Checks

On Oct. 6, 2022, President Joe Biden issued a blanket pardon to all citizens and lawful permanent residents convicted of simple possession of marijuana under the federal Controlled Substances Act. The move reflects a shift in attitudes towards low-level drug offenses, and should serve as an impetus to employers to review their policies on criminal record checks.

Because marijuana possession offenses predominantly fall under the jurisdictions of the states, not the federal government, the immediate impact of these pardons is limited. Only about 6,500 people have been convicted for simple possession under federal law and a few thousand more have been convicted under the Code of the District of Columbia.

To read the full text of this article by Duane Morris attorneys Danielle M. Dwyer and Jesse Stavis, originally published in Law360, please visit the firm website.

Simple Possession Pardons Can Complicate Employment Background Checks

By Danielle Dwyer and Jesse Stavis

On October 6, 2022, President Biden issued a blanket pardon to all citizens and lawful permanent residents convicted of simple possession of marijuana under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Because possession of marijuana offenses predominantly fall under the jurisdictions of the states, not the federal government, the immediate impact of these pardons is limited– only about 6,500 people have been convicted for simple possession under federal law and a few thousand more have been convicted under the District of Columbia Code. However, President Biden has urged governors to follow suit, and some states have begun to explore the idea of pardoning non-violent marijuana crimes.  As such, employers need to be aware of the effects such pardons have on their criminal background processes.  Continue reading “Simple Possession Pardons Can Complicate Employment Background Checks”

Lifting the Haze: New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission Issues Interim Guidance on Drug Testing

On September 9, 2022, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission issued interim guidance for employers on drug testing employees for cannabis. Since the legalization of recreational marijuana for adults 21 years of age or older, New Jersey employers are expected to follow certain procedures associated with drug testing employees based on reasonable suspicion of impairment. Until specific regulations are issued, the commission has provided interim guidance to clear some of the haze for employers trying to navigate compliance with New Jersey’s cannabis law.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

N.J. Appellate Division: Employee Stated Viable Claim Against Employer for Failure to Accommodate Off-Duty Medical Marijuana Use

In a recent decision approved for publication on March 27, 2019, the New Jersey Appellate Division addressed an issue of first impression: whether an employee can state a claim for disability discrimination based on an employer’s refusal to accommodate legal, off-duty use of medical marijuana, as permitted by the New Jersey Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act (Compassionate Use Act).

In Wild v. Carriage Funeral Holdings, Inc., et al., A-3072-17T3 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. Mar. 27, 2019), the plaintiff was a licensed funeral director for Carriage Funeral Holdings, Inc. (Carriage). His duties included, among other things, driving the funeral home’s hearse and other vehicles. After working for Carriage for approximately three years, the plaintiff was involved in a car accident in the course of his employment. At the time of the accident, he was driving one of Carriage’s vehicles during a funeral when another driver ran a stop sign and struck the vehicle driven by the plaintiff.

Read the full Alert on the Duane Morris LLP website.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the author and are not to be construed as legal advice.

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