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Kathryn J. RussoBlog Posts

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  • California Enacts Law Prohibiting Employment Discrimination Based On Off-Duty Marijuana Use, Effective 2024

    Governor Gavin Newsome signed into law September 19, 2022 several measures relating to marijuana, including one that prohibits employment discrimination based on off-duty use of marijuana.  The law takes effect on January 1, 2024. The law will prohibit an employer from discriminating against a person in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment,...
    September 19, 2022
  • NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission Publishes Guidance For Employers To Address Marijuana Impairment

    The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission published guidance on September 9, 2022, for employers to address marijuana impairment in the workplace.  The guidance does not, however, provide the long-awaited certification standards for Workplace Impairment Recognition Experts. In February 2021, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (CREAMMA), legalized adult use recreational...
    September 16, 2022
  • DOT Proposes New Guidance For Medical Examiners To Address CBD Use By Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers

    The U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a proposed draft Medical Examiner’s Handbook (MEH), including updates to the Medical Advisory Criteria, in the Federal Register on August 16, 2022.  The FMCSA’s regulations provide the basic driver physical qualification standards for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers, in 49 CFR 391.41 through...
    September 6, 2022
  • How Links to Marijuana Industry Can Affect Foreign Nationals’ U.S. Immigration Status

    Please click here to visit our Immigration Blog to read:  “How Links to Marijuana Industry Can Affect Foreign Nationals’ U.S. Immigration Status.”
    September 5, 2022
  • How Links to Marijuana Industry Can Affect Foreign Nationals’ U.S. Immigration Status

    Marijuana still is considered a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act. A conviction under the Controlled Substances Act can lead to severe consequences for a non-U.S. citizen. Under U.S. immigration law, any non-U.S. citizen who is convicted under the Controlled Substances Act, even green card holders, who participate or make investments in... Continue Reading
    August 31, 2022
  • Should Employers Continue To Drug Test For Marijuana?

    Due to the proliferation of state and local laws legalizing marijuana and protecting off-duty use, employers are struggling with whether it makes sense to continue to drug test for marijuana.  Earlier this month I was privileged to record a podcast with the Disability Management Employer Coalition on the topic of “To Test or Not: Employers...
    August 26, 2022
  • Nevada Court Rejects Claim That Off-Duty Marijuana Use Is “Lawful” Because It Still Is Illegal Under Federal Law

    The Supreme Court of Nevada upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit by an employee who was terminated after testing positive for marijuana on a post-accident drug test.  The Court rejected the employee’s claims that his use of marijuana outside of work hours was “lawful use” under state law.  Ceballos v. NP Palace, LLC, No. 82797...
    August 25, 2022
  • Drug Overdoses in 2021 at Highest Level on Record According to CDC, Driven By Opioids

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published data on May 11, 2022 concluding that drug overdoses in 2021 reached the highest levels on record.  CDC stated that an estimated 107,622 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States in 2021, largely driven by opioids.  This figure is a 15% increase over the number...
    May 11, 2022
  • Federal Court Dismisses Disability Discrimination Suit Based on Employee’s CBD Use

    A federal court in Indiana dismissed an employee’s lawsuit after he tested positive for marijuana due to alleged CBD use and claimed that his termination was discriminatory on the basis of a disability.  Rocchio v. E&B Paving, LLC, and Int’l Union of Operating Engineers Local 103, Case No. 1:20-cv-00417 (S.D. Indiana March 31, 2022). Rocchio...
    April 7, 2022
  • U.S. Department of Transportation Publishes Proposed Rules For Oral Fluid Drug Testing

    The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published in the Federal Register on February 28, 2022 a notice of proposed rulemaking for oral fluid drug testing of transportation employees covered by federal regulations.  DOT stated that the addition of oral fluid drug testing will give employers a choice to help combat employee cheating on urine drug...
    March 1, 2022