Can employees in California smoke marijuana at their place of work? Or test positive for drug tests? While at least some states (including California) are allowing the use of medicinal marijuana and two more (Colorado and Washington) are allowing recreational marijuana use, federal law does not necessarily agree with its legality. In fact, courts consistently find that employers may terminate employees who test positive for marijuana, regardless of whether such employees are using marijuana to treat a disability; whether they were not under the influence on company time; or whether they used or possessed marijuana on company premises.
Recently, a California court confirmed that employers have the option of continuing zero-tolerance approaches to drugs, marijuana included. Specifically, employees may be disciplined or terminated for marijuana use (despite state statutes prohibiting discipline for engaging in lawful activity outside of work) and employers need not accommodate medical marijuana use as a disability-related condition.