Manufacturing & Marijuana: What lies ahead in IL

SPRINGFIELD – Recreational marijuana is on the legislative agenda for Illinois – and manufacturers will need to prepare for any policy changes legalizing cannabis will bring for their employees.

That was the assessment Technology & Manufacturing Association’s lobbyist Jay Shattuck presented Thursday morning on a conference call with members.

“One of the biggest concerns for TMA members is how this will affect workers’ compensation,” Shattuck said. “We’re working with the sponsors to define ‘workplace’ we want the workplace protected – especially those that have ‘zero tolerance’ policies.” 

Employers are concerned about accidents taking place at the workplace, and their liability if the employee is impaired from cannabis or intoxicated from alcohol. 

Shattuck recommended TMA members seriously look into three different policies in light of the state legislature’s apparent direction: 

  1. If not already in place, establish a workplace policy on drug and alcohol. 
  2. Provide training for managers to be able to identify cannabis impairment and remove from job if potential for injury.
  3. Educate employees that in a world where cannabis will be more widespread after it is legalized, employers will be especially concerned that they will work in a safe place.

Several questions were raised about how to implement a “zero tolerance” policy – and how the challenge of testing will be dealt with.  

“You still need to do your due diligence to provide documentation, witnesses and testimony” if an employee is injured while impaired using cannabis, Shattuck recommended.

More on the topic will become available through TMA for Illinois employers facing the state’s policy changes.

Other TMA News on the topic: