How are agencies handling positive marijuana results on random and pre-employment drug screens?

·        We terminate employment or rescind offer of employment.

·        No employment actin taken and/or proceed with hire

·        We have only had 1 positive marijuana result, quarterly random selection.We allowed the employee to continue working.

We placed the drug test result in their personnel file with a copy of the letter from OPIA stating that they will not take negative action against the agency for positive marijuana test result.  We also issued a formal counseling to the employee stating that we will allow them to continue to work citing our drug and fitness for duty policies to which they must remain in compliance.

·       (agency) accepts positive marijuana results because medical and recreational use is legal in the state of New Jersey.

The person whose drug screen is marijuana positive is contacted by HR to notify of the above.

(agency)  also has a statement in its Employee Handbook regarding medical/recreational use of marijuana as follows:

While (agency) does recognize that medical and recreational use of marijuana in the State of New Jersey is legal, its use is not permitted during working hours.

It is (agency) policy that:

1.        You may not report to work under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or any controlled substance or prescription drug not medically authorized.

2.        You may not possess or use alcohol, illegal drugs, or any controlled substance or prescription drug not medically authorized while on (agency) property, while operating any vehicle or equipment on behalf of (agency) or on (agency) business.

·        Not bothering us. We do however use the information to keep a closer eye of those who test positive, that when in operations (day or home) that they are not working stoned under the influence.

·        We are keeping them with the understanding that they cannot be high on shift. I am waiting to see if I can have them sign a document to that affect but I am not hopeful. I am not happy about doing this.

·        (agency) had a pre-employment positive test result not long ago, but the person was on medical marijuana, so was employable according to our policy.  We are waiting for the first result that isn’t medically necessary and will be consulting our attorney for advice when that happens.  I will be very interested to hear what others have experienced and done.  Thanks.

·        We are not taking action at this time for positive tests.  Thanks.

·        Recently, we did have an applicant who tested positive for Marijuana. We quickly decided not to pursue this candidate, because we don’t know if this was recreational or habitual, not that it mattered, but when it comes to taking care of our residents we need all employees to be drug-free.

·        We have a draft policy on recreational marijuana that is currently out for comment with my key administrative staff for review. Our current thinking is that a positive test will not be a disqualifying event that would bar employment or have an adverse impact with a current employee. However, some employees also have a CDL license. If this were to occur, this could be problematic for the individual.

We also are continuing to discuss a few other policy elements of this complex issue. The absence of some uniformity between the federal government and the States is very problematic.

·        Our marijuana testing policy is as follows:

If employees test positive upon the initial hiring process, we will not hire you.  You may reapply after a minimum of 6 months.

If an employee test positive after employment, you are suspended without pay and we send you to our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for counseling.  Upon return, the employee must test negative for drug screening prior to return.  If upon your return you test positive, the employee is terminated.  If you test negative, the employee may return but must agree to random drug testing for one year.

·        Here’s what our HR Director said:

“We are not taking any negative action. Although we haven’t been put in a situation like this in a while. When situations have occurred like this in the past applicants were able to provide a medical Marijuana card. However, as you can see in the attached bulletin this discusses Marijuana in general without a medical card. “

Based on this:

Department of Human Services

Information Bulletin


To:                       Agency Providers, Medicaid Approved Providers, and Fiscal Intermediaries

From:                  Lauri Woodward, Director of the Office of Program Integrity and Accountability

Date:                   4/5/2021

Subject:              Guidance on Marijuana


The Department of Human Services will not take negative action against a provider or fiscal intermediary that does not take adverse employment action against an applicant, employee, or volunteer who tests positive for marijuana.

The Department of Human Services may take negative action against a provider or fiscal intermediary that permits an employee or volunteer to use or be under the influence of marijuana while on duty.

Questions should be directed to ·        We have not had an incident of a positive result from any random testing done thus far but in accordance with the new law in NJ, we have not denied employment to anyone on the basis of a positive marijuana test result alone.