VT: Marijuana Policy Changes On The Job

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Recreational marijuana becomes legal in Vermont in just about four months. That means big changes in everything from highway patrols to policies at major universities. Our Taylor Young takes a look at what legalization could mean in the workplace and what employers need to know.

Heather Hammond, a labor and employment lawyer in Burlington, says under the new law, employers that already conduct pre-employment drug tests, can still do so.

As far as rules, Hammond says employers can keep policies preventing use, possession or sale of the drug in the workplace. She says business owners should be aware of the language used in their employee handbooks.

“Sometimes policies will only exclude illegal drugs, and marijuana is no longer illegal in Vermont, so employers should be looking at their policies to make sure that it covers what they want the policies to cover,” she said.

Hammond says businesses might also want to consider tweaking their social media policies.

“Employees may talk about it in the lunch room, they talk about it on social media, they may have photos of them using marijuana on social media,” she said. “So how are employers going to handle that?”

WCAX News asked businesses in the Chittenden County area if they have considered changing their policies. Most say they haven’t given it much thought.