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Illinois amends recreational marijuana law

02/06/20

Author: ADP Admin/Monday, February 3, 2020/Categories: Compliance Corner , State Compliance Update, Illinois

Illinois has enacted legislation (Senate Bill 1557) that amends the state's recreational marijuana law. Senate Bill 1557 is effective immediately.

Background:

In 2019, Illinois enacted legislation (House Bill 1438) that allows the use of recreational marijuana beginning January 1, 2020. Illinois also has a law that prohibits employers from taking adverse action against an individual because they use "lawful products" off company premises during nonworking hours. House Bill 1438 amended the off-duty conduct law to clarify that lawful products are ones that are lawful under state law, which now includes marijuana.

House Bill 1438 also doesn't:

·       Prohibit an employer from adopting reasonable zero tolerance or drug free workplace policies, or employment policies concerning drug testing, smoking, consumption, storage, or use of marijuana in the workplace or while on-call provided that the policy is applied in a nondiscriminatory manner.

·       Require an employer to allow an employee to be under the influence of or use marijuana in the workplace, while on-call, or while performing their job duties.

·       Limit or prevent an employer from disciplining or terminating an employee for violating the employer's policies.


Senate Bill 1557:

Among other things, Senate Bill 1557 amends the state's recreational marijuana law to clarify that employers do not violate state law, and individuals can't bring a claim again an employer, when the employer enforces "reasonable" drug policies that subject an employee or applicant to reasonable drug and alcohol testing, reasonable and nondiscriminatory random drug testing, and discipline, termination of employment, or withdrawal of a job offer due to a failure of a drug test. In other words, employers can't be sued for adverse actions taken pursuant to reasonable workplace drug-testing policies.

Note: Illinois also has a medical marijuana law. Under the state's medical marijuana law, employers are prohibited from penalizing a person solely for his or her status as a registered qualifying patient or a registered designated caregiver, unless failing to do so would put the employer in violation of federal law or would cause the employer to lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit under federal law or rules

Compliance Recommendations:

Illinois employers should review policies and practices considering House Bill 1438 and Senate Bill 1557, consulting legal counsel as needed. Employers should also train supervisors on the company's rights and

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