Local License Reinstatement Lawyer Warns About the Effect of the Legalization of Marijuana on Illinois Employers

ROSELLE, IL / ACCESSWIRE / October 24, 2019 / JMQ Law, a law firm based in Roselle, Illinois, warns that the legalization of recreational marijuana on January 1, 2020, will likely have an impact on the ability of employers to recruit workers if they continue with their zero-tolerance policy. They point out that the historically low unemployment rates in the state and increasing marijuana use may force employers to drop their zero-tolerance policy. Those who are interested in this story can read more here.

Colorado had legalized recreational marijuana in 2014 and the Denver-based nonprofit Employers Council had been conducting surveys of Colorado employers every other year since 2014. In 2018, their survey found that 13 percent of employers that are not regulated by the Department of Transportation had relaxed their policies on marijuana testing the past two years and 7 percent had dropped marijuana from pre-employment testing.

Illinois will be the 11th state to permit the use of recreational cannabis for people who are 21 years and older. Nevertheless, employers can still insist on their zero-tolerance policy. With the current state of the economy where unemployment has dropped to record low levels, employers are expected to be more lenient and possibly scrap their zero-tolerance policies. However, experts believe that if the unemployment rate reverses its trend and starts rising, employers might bring back their zero-tolerance policies. Those who would like to be updated about these developments and JMQ Law can view the company Facebook page.

Employers are most concerned about the effects of the use of recreational marijuana on workers’ productivity, safety, determining impairment and its consequences, and problems that may arise from drug testing. However, experts believe that there are ways to prepare for and prevent accidents and problems that may arise from the use of marijuana or its influence while working.

In a 2015 survey from the Society for Human Resource Management, it was found that 94 percent of HR professionals have a written substance-use policy in states where marijuana is legal for either recreational or medical use. The law in Illinois that allows the use of recreational marijuana allows the companies to still implement their zero-tolerance policies if they choose to.

Regarding the issue of marijuana possibly affecting the quality of employees’ work, companies already have a policy in place where they fire workers who have a low quality of work, regardless of whether this was caused by substance use or not. Related to this is the concern about increased absenteeism. But once again, there are already policies that employers use to punish absenteeism.

In the issue about safety, if an accident occurs and the concerned employee is tested and found to have traces of marijuana, he or she could be terminated. It is the employee who has the burden of proving that intoxication was not the direct cause of the accident.

Also, the employee might lose his or her workers’ compensation benefit and the employer is absolved from being liable for the employee’s actions if a lawsuit is involved. For instance, under normal circumstances, if an employee gets involved in an auto accident on the way to a work-related activity, both the employee and the company could be liable if the other party sues for damages. However, in the event that the employee is found to have traces of marijuana in his or her system, the employer would no longer be liable because the accident could have been caused by the employee’s personal drug use.

JMQ Law has been focused on Illinois driver’s license reinstatement and clearance for more than 20 years and they have assisted thousands of people in getting their license back. The legalization of the recreational use of marijuana in Illinois can have an impact on the rules affecting driver’s licenses in the state and the firm wants employees and employers to be aware of it.

People who are interested in receiving services JMQ Law offers can contact the office or they can visit their website.


For more information about JMQ Law, contact the company here:

John M Quinn
John M. Quinn & Associates, Ltd.
2nd Floor of Itasca Bank & Trust
9 E Irving Park Rd
Roselle, Il 60172


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