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Kathryn J. RussoBlog Posts

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New York Legalizes Recreational Marijuana

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation legalizing recreational marijuana on March 31, 2021. The legalized use of marijuana is effective immediately, even though retail sales of marijuana are not expected to begin until mid-2022. This change potentially immediately impacts a New York employer’s ability to take adverse actions against applicants and employees based on...… Continue Reading
April 1, 2021

How New Jersey’s Recreational Marijuana Law Significantly Affects Workplace Drug Testing

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law three marijuana reform bills on February 22, 2021. The first, New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (A21), legalizes and regulates cannabis use and possession for adults who are 21 and older. Two other laws decriminalize marijuana and hashish possession (A1897) and clarify marijuana...… Continue Reading
February 24, 2021

DOT Random Drug and Alcohol Testing Rates for 2021

The Department of Transportation’s operating agencies have announced their random drug and alcohol testing rates for 2021.  The random test rates did not change for 2021.   Agency 2021 Random Drug Testing Rate 2021 Random Alcohol Testing Rate Federal Aviation Administration   25% 10% Federal Motor Carrier Administration   50% 10% Federal Railway Administration  ...… Continue Reading
February 8, 2021

Voters in Five States Approve Marijuana Ballot Initiatives on Election Day

Voters in Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota approved laws to legalize marijuana on Election Day 2020. Recreational marijuana was approved in Arizona, Montana, and New Jersey, while Mississippi voters approved medical marijuana. South Dakota voters approved both medical and recreational marijuana ballot initiatives. Medical Marijuana Mississippi – Mississippi Ballot Measure 1 passed,...… Continue Reading
November 4, 2020

Request For Medical Examination Was Permissible Under ADA After Positive Drug Test Result

A federal court in Indiana dismissed an employee’s claim that his employer did not have the right to request a medical examination after he tested positive for drugs and subsequently admitted that he was taking numerous prescription medications that could create a safety risk.  Beal v. Muncie Sanitary District, Case No. 1:19-cv-01506 (S.D. Ind. Oct.... Continue Reading
October 29, 2020

Request For Medical Examination Was Permissible Under ADA After Positive Drug Test Result

A federal court in Indiana dismissed an employee’s claim that his employer did not have the right to request a medical examination after he tested positive for drugs and subsequently admitted that he was taking numerous prescription medications that could create a safety risk.  Beal v. Muncie Sanitary District, Case No. 1:19-cv-01506 (S.D. Ind. Oct....… Continue Reading
October 28, 2020

Rhode Island Employee May Proceed With Lawsuit Alleging That Termination For Failed Breath Test Violated State Law

A federal court in Rhode Island allowed a former employee to proceed with her lawsuit alleging that the employer violated state law when it terminated her employment after a positive breath alcohol test. Stafford v. CSL Plasma, Inc., Case No. 1:19-cv-00270 (D.R.I. September 14, 2020). Stafford worked for CSL Plasma for about a year as...… Continue Reading
September 16, 2020

Employee’s Request To Revise Drug Policy To Address CBD Use Was Not A Reasonable Accommodation

A federal court in Tennessee dismissed an employee’s lawsuit in which she claimed that her employer should have changed its drug policy to allow CBD use. Hamric v. City of Murfreesboro, Case No. 3:18-cv-01239 (September 10, 2020). The City of Murfreesboro hired Hamric as a Cultural Arts Program Specialist in August of 2015. Her job...… Continue Reading
September 16, 2020

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Proposes Guidelines for Hair Drug Testing

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), proposed scientific and technical guidelines for hair drug testing in federal workplace drug testing programs in the Federal Register on September 10, 2020. The proposed Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs Using Hair (HMG) will allow...… Continue Reading
September 10, 2020

Directly-Observed Urine Collections Do Not Constitute Invasion of Privacy Where Employees Consented to Drug Testing

The Supreme Court of Ohio held that an at-will employee has no cause of action for common law invasion of privacy after the employer required the employee to submit to a directly-observed urine collection drug test.  Lunsford v. Sterilite of Ohio, LLC, slip op. No. 2020-Ohio-4193 (August 26, 2020). Sterilite is a private employer with...… Continue Reading
September 1, 2020

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