California HR

Drug Policy Should Require Workers to Inform You When They’re Impaired

Drug Policy Should Require Workers to Inform You When They’re Impaired

In light of California’s new law legalizing medical marijuana use discussed in the accompanying story, now is a good time to take a look at your current drug and alcohol policies to make sure they cover situations where your employees’ work could be affected by the use of legal drugs. The following is a sample of some policy language you may want to consider. But before implementing any changes, consult with an expert to review your entire drug and alcohol policy.


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No employee will report to work or work impaired by any drug or alcohol substance, lawful or unlawful, except with [Company’s] approval. Approval will be limited to lawful medications and will be based on assessment of the employee’s ability to perform their regular or other assigned duties safely and efficiently. It is the employee’s responsibility to determine the potential effects of any legal drugs and notify [name of person or department] if the use of such drugs may impair their ability to perform their work. ‘Impaired’ means under the influence of a substance that affects or may be reasonably presumed to affect the employee’s motor senses (such as sight, hearing, balance, reaction, reflexes) or judgment. Any violation of this policy may result in summary discipline, up to and including immediate termination from employment.

Policy courtesy of Dennis B. Cook, a partner with the Sacramento law firm of Cook, Brown, Rediger & Prager, LLP