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Employment Tip of the Month – December 2022

Q:  As an employer, am I legally required to allow employees to bring marijuana to an office holiday party? 

A:  No.  While adult recreational use of marijuana is now legal in 21 states and the District of Columbia, the use of marijuana remains illegal under federal law and employers with drug-free and smoke-free workplace policies can prohibit marijuana consumption in the workplace and during employer-sponsored events. Employers who wish to prohibit use of recreational marijuana at the office holiday party should remind employees of the policies and ensure that they understand the policies apply at all employer-sponsored events – even if the event is held after work hours and off company premises.

Laws surrounding the recreational use of marijuana differ from one state to another and evolve quickly.  Before taking adverse action against an employee for marijuana use, an employer should consult the specific laws governing their jurisdiction.

© 2023 Wilson ElserNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 335
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About this Author

Laura Stutz Labor & Employment Litigation Attorney Wilson Elser Law Firm
Counsel

Laura Stutz practices in the area of employment law counseling and litigation. She represents management in the hospitality, retail, financial services and health care industries, including hospitals and hospital systems, nursing homes, clinical laboratories, acute care centers and retail pharmaceuticals. Laura’s practice involves counseling employers on employment laws and employee benefit issues arising under ERISA. She also litigates on behalf of management in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies over disputes involving claims of discrimination...

973.735.1461
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