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Canna-business as Usual? A Guide to Approaching Marijuana and the Workplace

(2k+ reviews)

Produced on April 30, 2019

$ 79 Criminal, Business, Corporate, & Securities, Labor & Employment, and Cannabis In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h 32m
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

Although marijuana remains classified as a Schedule I illegal substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act, thirty-three states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, ten of those states have legalized recreational marijuana, and additional states are considering doing so. This dichotomy leaves employers asking whether and how they can enforce drug-free workplace policies, comply with federal laws including Department of Transportation regulations and the Drug Free Workplace Act, safeguard their workforce, customers and businesses, and still accommodate the legitimate needs of their employees and their rights under state law.

This program, taught by Nathaniel Glasser and Steven Swirsky of Epstein Becker & Green, P.C., will help employers navigate the continuously changing state laws and regulations concerning medical and recreational marijuana, how those laws impact the workplace, and how the various state laws interact with federal law. The course will also cover the effect of state legalization laws on drug testing, drug-free workplace policies, and the management of employees who use marijuana. Viewers will be prepared to discuss the impact of these laws on workplace policies, and will receive effective strategies for dealing with the changing landscape.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review the various protections provided by state legalization laws, including decriminalization, nondiscrimination, and accommodation
  2. Identify current federal enforcement priorities under the Controlled Substances Act and current proposals in Congress to change the federal law
  3. Discuss the effect of state legalization laws on drug-free workplace policies, DOT regulations, federal contracting requirements, and similar employer obligations
  4. Explore whether employers must accommodate an employee’s use of medical (or even recreational) marijuana
  5. Know how to respond to increasing numbers of pre-employment and on-the-job positive test results for marijuana
  6. Recognize elevated hazards presented by marijuana use by employees required to operate motor vehicles or engage in safety-sensitive tasks
  7. Examine employer obligations to bargain with employees’ union representatives concerning drug policies and discipline relating to marijuana usage
  8. Propose strategies for dealing with inherent conflicts in state and federal law

Credit Information

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Nathaniel M. Glasser

Epstein Becker & Green

NATHANIEL M. GLASSER is a Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the Washington, DC, office of Epstein Becker Green. His practice focuses on the representation of employers in employee relations and human resources compliance, as well as litigating claims of harassment, discrimination, whistleblowing, and wage-hour violations.

Mr. Glasser’s experience includes:

  • Defending clients in complex employment litigation, including class and collective actions, involving claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, whistleblowing, wage-hour issues under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state laws, trade secret violations, and breach of contract
  • Advocating for employers before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (OFCCP), the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights, the New York State Division of Human Rights, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, and other administrative agencies
  • Counseling employers on a wide array of employment and human resources compliance issues
  • Leading, conducting, and advising on the internal investigation of employee complaints
  • Providing anti-discrimination and anti-harassment training
  • Advising employers with respect to workforce audits conducted by OFCCP or taxing authorities
  • Mr. Glasser also advises clients on novel issues of employee relations, including:
  • Drug testing and accommodation questions in the wake of recreational and medical marijuana (cannabis) laws recently passed in many states
  • The implementation of artificial intelligence and predictive (or people) analytics in the workplace
  • Transgender rights in the workplace
  • The creation of effective training programs to address #MeToo and harassment, workplace violence prevention, and other key issues

Steven M. Swirsky

Epstein Becker Green

STEVEN M. SWIRSKY is a Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management and Health Care & Life Sciences practices, in the New York office of Epstein Becker Green. He is a member of the firm's Board of Directors and Co-Chair of the firm's Labor Management Relations practice group. He has devoted his practice almost exclusively to aiding employers in developing strategies to remain union-free and, in organized operations, to securing and expanding management rights in collective bargaining and in proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board.

Mr. Swirsky regularly represents employers in a wide range of industries, including retail, hospitals and health care, manufacturing, banking and financial services, transportation and distribution, electronics, and media and publishing. He frequently advises and represents United States subsidiaries and affiliates of Asian, European, and other foreign-based companies. Mr. Swirsky is a Fellow of The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, a fellowship of the most accomplished members of the labor and employment law community in the United States, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Labor and Employment Law at New York University School of Law.

Mr. Swirsky:

  • Advises employers on a full range of labor and employment matters involving labor and employment issues in transactional matters
  • Represents employers in union avoidance, organizing campaigns, and related proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board
  • Represents employers in collective bargaining and in connection with strikes, picketing and arbitration proceedings
  • Handles grievances and arbitrations concerning work rule disputes and discharges, for both unionized and non-unionized employers
  • Represents employers in a full range of employment litigation and administrative proceedings, including Title VII, ADEA, ADA and other employment discrimination matters before state and federal courts and administrative tribunals such as the EEOC, and the New York State Division of Human Rights
  • Prepares and revises employment manuals and personnel policy manuals
  • Structures employment agreements, including those involving protection of trade secrets and proprietary technology, and litigation involving employment contracts, restrictive covenants, and the protection of confidential and proprietary information

From 1978 to 1983, Mr. Swirsky served as a Field Attorney with the National Labor Relations Board at Region 29 in Brooklyn, New York. He has represented employers in private practice since leaving the Board in 1983.

Mr. Swirsky is co-editor and a frequent contributor to the Management Memo blog and the Health Employment And Labor blog. He frequently writes and speaks on a wide range of labor and employment law matters and presently serves on the boards of several not-for-profit organizations.

Mr. Swirsky was named by Law360 as one of only six Employment MVPs for 2014. He was also selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the fields of Employment Law—Management and Labor Law—Management (2006 to 2019) and New York Metro Super Lawyers list in the areas of Employment and Labor and Employment Litigation: Defense (2007 to 2013). Mr. Swirsky is listed in PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook and was "Recommended" in the Labor–Management Relations category by The Legal 500 United States (2012 to 2018). He has received an "AV Preeminent" Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell for more than 15 years, signifying the highest level of professional excellence. Mr. Swirsky is also a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.


Erik G.

This was useful and relevant to my practice.

Eric L.

Excellent presentation and extremely knowledgeable instructors.


well done

Paul S.

well presented. Useful information.

Terri W.

Excellent presenters -- sharp, professional, know their stuff, present very well. GREAT handouts.

Clare S.

very topical subject with excellent presenters.

Theodor S.

answered many questions

Erin B.

Very helpful!

Melissa c.

Good info

Melissa L.

Really informative, up to date course.

James R.

Great powerpoint.

Kathleen B.

This was such a good analysis of the interplay between stay and federal law and the history of the changes of employers and controlled substances in the workplace.

Susan M.

Thank you - this was so interesting and informative!

Whitney A.

Very interesting a fluid area of the law

Gary D.

These presenters have an excellent ability to teach by use of effective dialogue with each other. A very good course to identify and recognize issues in a developing area of law.

Michael D.

Thorough overview with good summaries of the federal-state case law in the slides.

Rene B.

Good overview. Thank you.

Rebecca K.

Thank you!

Melissa W.

Excellent seminar

Lawrence E.

it was good

Shaun E.

good presenters; perhaps next time include an employee side labor attorney

Bill B.

Very helpful discussion and analysis of interaction of state and federal law. A;so appreciate the brief discussion of NLRA issues.

Josh N.

Very well presented, informative.

Terrence G.

Excellent program.

Michael G.


Stephen H D.

Very good overview.

Michael J.

Very informative. Great speakers.


This course was very well done.

Michael C.

Great class

Alan M.

Good overview

Casimir W.

Thank you. Very informational.

Ronald H.

Provides in sight into the balancing act between employer/employee relations in light of changed laws. Good stuff.

Alison K.

Very informative

Susan M. B.

extremely interesting both speakers great. nice insight to issues regarding positive marijuana testing

Jeremy S.

Thanks for the info, things are changing quickly on that front.

Terrie J.

Excellent presentation - speakers were very knowledgeable!

Walter R.

Important current issues - timely. Well presented with broad based discussion.

David B.


Seema B.

I really liked the format of having two presenters who were able to have an active discussion in addition to standard presentation of materials.

Carly R.

Speakers were engaging throughout session. Felt like I was participating in a conversation rather than a lecture.

Stephen P.

The back and forth between the presenters made it more interesting and less rote.

Ross B.

Great course

John T.

Good presentation, excellent and timely subject matter

Mark C.


Richard V.


Ben P.

Very knowledgeable speakers.



Misty H.

Excellent program and very informative. A great primer for inhouse counsel to show their companies how difficult it can be to construct appropriate policies for multistate employers and how much individual consideration may be required.

Melissa H.

Best one yet!

Randel S.

Very good

Mark W.

Good presentation

Pamela M.

Very good discussion, helpful information

Robert K.

Very helpful for me. Good resource.

Christopher B.

I thought the presenters did a good job covering the most current case law in a rapidly-changing area.

Mark K.

interesting, useful information on the labopr employment/cannabis landscape. as someone who works with folks in the industry was a good primer on evolution of the states and federal landscape here

Stephen E.

These guys were great! Incredibly well-organized.

Ira R.

Thoughtful presentation. Fabulous materials.

Adam L.

an excellent overview of this fascinating and changing area of law

Rachel C.

Very comprehensive and interesting

Andrew P.

Nice job of breaking down the issues.

Charles B.

Really a very thoughtful discussion about dope.

mark s.

Thank you

Evan K.

Excellent content. Thanks!

Steve S.

This was very helpful

cindy m.

excellent speakers; fascinating to hear developments in this new area of the law, thank you

Patrick O.

Excellent, as all all of the sessions on this topic.

Clarisse T.

The recent case law from 2018 and 2019 was very helpful -- the presenters did a great job in researching this topic.

Sharon P.


James E H.

Presenters were very well prepared. Thank you.

Maureen R.

Very knowledgeable speakers, and timely topic!

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