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Illinois Employees and Employers Prepare for Marijuana Legalization

State Marijuana

Changes to Illinois marijuana law say that employers can ban workplace use and intoxication of marijuana. What they can’t do is ban employees from using marijuana when they are off-duty. Since marijuana sales will be legal on January 1, marijuana is now considered a lawful product. Governor Pritzker has not signed the bill into law yet. And if he takes no action within the 60-day timeframe, it automatically becomes law.

Changes to the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act now ban employers from discriminating against employees and potential employees for their use of marijuana during their off-duty hours, according to The National Law Review.

Employers are permitted to ban the use of marijuana during on-call hours, before work hours and at the workplace during work hours. Employers can still enforce drug-free workplace and zero tolerance policies. The changes to the law are somewhat conflicting.

If zero tolerance policies and/or drug free workplace policies are already in place – employers can maintain and continue to enforce them. Failed drug tests can still result in termination. Employers have until January 1, 2020 to enact policies regarding marijuana use. Employers also have the opportunity to update or change their existing policies to be in compliance with state law.