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The Florida Medical Marijuana Law: Implications for Employers and Employees - Julu 10, 2017
While Florida has legalized the use of marijuana for certain illnesses and treatment procedures under Florida Statute 381.986, the usage of marijuana is still illegal under the federal laws. Employees who use medical marijuana may be at risk for losing their jobs. Employees need to be careful as that the use of marijuana may not only impact their performance at work, but could be used as grounds for termination by their employer.
Employers need to review their internal policies, especially drug testing procedures. Even when employees come to work and have used prescription medication, which now includes medical marijuana, there is no guarantee of employment upon failing a drug test. Employment policies need to be updated and followed in a consistent manner.
Employers need to be careful not to violate privacy laws. Employers cannot ask questions about personal health, which includes asking about the reasons why an employee may be using medical marijuana. A violation of the employee’s privacy could lead to unnecessary litigation.
Since marijuana is illegal under federal law, laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, Family Medical Leave Act and Title VII discrimination laws would not apply for an employee using marijuana. Until the federal government declassifies marijuana as a controlled substance, employees need to be careful with using the substance and how it may affect them at work.
Currently, the federal government is not criminally targeting marijuana – its growth and usage – there is always the possibility that the DEA could begin to have renewed enforcement of the federal statute. In this new era of change, employers need to review their human resources policies, while employees need to very carefully consider the consequences of their actions and conduct themselves responsibly.
Contact our office to discuss any employment issues regarding marijuana in the workplace.
The Florida Minimum Wage Act - June 27, 2017
The Florida Minimum Wage Act is different than the Fair Labor Standards Act “FLSA”. If an employee believes they have not been paid at least the minimum wage, which in Florida as of January 1, 2017, is $8.10, then the employee can bring a lawsuit in state court. If the employee is correct and was not paid minimum wage, pursuant to the Florida statute they are entitled to:
It is important that employers make sure they have time records for each hourly employee.
The records need to state:
It is important the employees make sure they are paid at least minimum wage and if not to report the error immediately. Employees are protected from retaliation if they complain and are terminated.