New Mexico Alcohol and Drugs: What you need to know

Some states have comprehensive laws that regulate or prohibit drug testing in private sector workplaces, but New Mexico does not have such a law. New Mexico employers are therefore free to implement all types of drug-testing programs at their own discretion. There is additional information on developing a program.
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The New Mexico Human Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination based on an employee's physical or mental handicap, defined as a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of an individual's major life activities, having a record of such impairment, or being perceived as having such an impairment” (NM Stat. Sec. 28-1-1et seq.). While the state law does not state whether alcohol or drug use falls into that category, current use of illegal drugs is not a protected disability under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Alcoholism is considered a disability, but federal law provides that an employer may hold an alcoholic employee to the same qualifications and job performance standards as other employees, even if unsatisfactory performance is caused by the alcoholism.
State law allows the use of marijuana to treat specific medical conditions, such as AIDS, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, and cancer. Qualified patients receive medical certification and have a registry identification card after registering with the state. Despite the state medical marijuana law, employers may absolutely prohibit use of medical marijuana in the workplace (NM Stat. Sec. 30-31C-1, et seq.et seq.).
The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1998 establishes a drug-free workplace demonstration program within the SBA. Under ...

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