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On Demand Audio

Getting Out of the Weeds: What Employers Need to Know About Marijuana in the Workplace

(426 reviews)

Produced on April 20, 2016

$ 89 Constitutional and Labor & Employment In Stock

Course Information

Time 1h 31m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Constitutional Labor & Employment

Course Description

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of marijuana, yet the drug remains classified as a Schedule I illegal substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act. This dichotomy has left employers with many questions about how to safeguard their workplace and enforce drug-free policies without running afoul of applicable laws. 


Join Nathaniel Glasser and Valerie Butera of Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. for a session discussing the effect of state legalization laws on drug testing, drug-free workplace policies, and the discipline and accommodation of marijuana users. After viewing the program, attendees will be prepared for the impact of these laws on workplace policies and will receive effective strategies for dealing with the changing landscape.  


Learning Objectives:

I.     Understand the various protections provided by state legalization laws, including decriminalization, nondiscrimination, and accommodation

II.    Identify current federal enforcement priorities under the Controlled Substances Act

III.   Discuss the effect of state legalization laws on drug-free workplace policies

IV.   Explore whether employers must accommodate an employee’s use of medical marijuana

V.    Know how to respond to increasing numbers of pre-employment and on-the-job positive test results for marijuana

VI.   Recognize elevated hazards presented by marijuana use by employees required to operate motor vehicles

VII.  Address OSHA’s recommendations for dealing with employees who use marijuana

VIII. Propose strategies for dealing with inherent conflicts in state and federal law



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

Valerie Butera

Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.

VALERIE BUTERA is a Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the Washington, DC, office of Epstein Becker Green, where she focuses on OSHA and other workplace safety and health issues. She represents clients from numerous industries, including health care and life sciences, financial services, hospitality, retail, and technology, among others. She is OSHA 30 certified and has substantial training and experience in process safety management (PSM).


Ms. Butera:

  • Represents employers and trade associations in complex matters regarding the Occupational Safety and Health Act
  • Litigates OSHA citations alleging violations of OSHA’s General Industry and Construction regulations
  • Counsels clients on compliance with all standards set by OSHA, including the PSM standard, Lockout/Tagout, machine guarding, and hazard communication
  • Assists employers with developing safety programs and policies
  • Represents companies in response to various OSHA National Emphasis Programs
  • Conducts privileged internal general OSHA compliance audits, railway safety audits, and process safety management audits
  • Advises clients on industrial hygiene concerns, including benzene and asbestos exposure
  • Drafts responses to OSHA Requests for Information and comments in rulemaking
  • Conducts workplace safety training presentations


Prior to joining Epstein Becker Green, Ms. Butera was an OSHA attorney at a national law firm. Previously, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable William D. Quarles, Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. During law school, she spent her summers clerking for the Privacy Rights & Protection Staff of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, where she played a critical role in bringing Medicare into compliance with the HIPAA Privacy Rule, and the Office of Chief Counsel for the Internal Revenue Service, where she focused on tax controversy litigation.


As a law student, Ms. Butera completed the University of Maryland School of Law concentration in Health Law and was the Senior Survey Editor of the American Bar Association’s Business Section journal entitled The Business Lawyer.


Representative Experience

  • Drafted numerous briefs before the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, including those filed in Secretary of Labor v. Delek Refining, OSHRC Docket No. 09-0844 (July 11, 2011), in which the Commission established a three-part test for determining when a third-party expert’s report is protected by the attorney-client privilege
  • Developed strategies and counseled clients through numerous successful settlement negotiations, amicably resolving citations; strategized with civil counsel in cases involving injuries or fatalities regarding both the timing and terms of settlement agreements in order to minimize the impact of OSHA citations on ongoing civil litigation cases
  • Briefed a pre-enforcement challenge to a newly promulgated OSHA standard before the U.S. Court of Appeals for District of Columbia Circuit
  • Defended an employer in a matter involving OSHA’s multiemployer citation policy in response to a catastrophe that resulted in construction and general industry citations involving the employer, contractor, and sub-contractors, and provided assistance to co-counsel in related civil litigation
  • Counseled various clients on the interconnection between Department of Transportation and OSHA provisions and developed compliance solutions
  • Conducted training for employers in numerous areas, including, among others, the requirements of the new HAZCOM rule, how to avoid citations for the most frequently cited OSHA standards in various industries, and OSHA’s proposed electronic injury and illness reporting requirements


  • University of Maryland School of Law (J.D., with honors, 2003) Concentration in Health Law
  • Hope College (B.A., cum laude, 1997)

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland


  • American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, Leadership Development Program, and the Committee on Occupational Safety and Health


Andrew P.

Very informative and helpful

Justin B.

The presenters were clearly knowledgeable about the subject matter.

Kristin T.

Very good.

Dennis G.

Great primer course.

Charles C.

It was a different perspective,,

Frank C.

interesting topic and presentation

Carrie B.

I love the conversational presentation style between two knowledgeable professionals.

Cynthia L.

complex issues

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