The below is an excerpt from the "What Home Health Providers Need to Know About THC Delta-8" article that originally appeared in HomeCare Magazine:
Hiring & Firing
The homecare industry is facing a major workforce shortage, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and recent vaccine mandates. Staffers are burnt out and looking for ways to cope—and that may include seeking relief in cannabis products.
Because Delta-8 can induce a high, and because users will test positive for THC in a hair, saliva or urine test, home health providers may struggle with whether and how to restrict use of the legal compound.
“It is getting more difficult for employers to administer drug-free workplace policies when many states have legalized the use of marijuana and other THC derivatives,” said Amanda McCollum, a consultant for human capital management at Adams Keegan. “That said, employers certainly have the right to remain a drug-free workplace and set the expectation that employees can show zero sign of impairment at work.”
McCollum cited the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act, which prohibits employers from taking adverse employment actions (such as refusal to hire, discharge or even discipline) against employees because of the presence of cannabis in their saliva or urine samples.
The act did recognize an employer’s right to maintain a drug- and alcohol-free workplace, however.
New York also passed a law that prohibits employers from testing for THC, but that law includes exemptions for teachers, day care workers and “those who provide supervision or care of patients in a medical, nursing home, or group care facility; and any job that has the potential to significantly impact the health and safety of employees or members of the public,” McCollum said, which would cover homecare agencies.
McCollum has noticed an uptick in employers moving away from random drug screenings, a process she said could help with retention. But pre-hiring tests will likely remain in place.
“I think there is an expectation in most professional industries, including homecare, that employees should be able to pass a pre-employment drug test,” she said. "Letting an applicant know of this requirement early in the interview process not only gives them time to prepare, but also to disclose any prescribed medical marijuana use."
Read the full HomeCare Magazine article here.