Colorado Alcohol and Drugs laws & HR compliance analysis

Colorado Alcohol and Drugs: What you need to know

Some states have comprehensive laws that regulate drug testing in the private sector, but Colorado does not have such a law. Private employers are therefore free to set their own testing policies, as long as those policies meet the requirements of any applicable federal law.
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The Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of certain classifications, including physical or mental disability, provided the individual with the disability can perform the essential functions of the job in question with or without reasonable accommodation. The Act covers all employers, regardless of size (CO Rev. Stat. Sec. 24-34-401et seq.).
Under certain circumstances, alcohol or drug abuse could be considered a disability. The Colorado statutes define “disability” as any physical impairment that limits one or more of an individual's major life activities, a record of such impairment, and being regarded as having such an impairment. “Disability” also includes mental impairments, but any person currently involved in the illegal use of or addiction to a controlled substance will not be considered disabled under the law (CO Rev. Stat. Sec. 24-34-301).
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA considers the current use of alcohol to be a disability, but not the current use of illegal drugs. Additional information on substance abuse and the ADA is available.
Amendment 20 to the state constitution authorizes the use of marijuana to alleviate certain debilitating medical conditions. Amendment 20 authorizes a patient or a primary caregiver who has been issued a Medical Marijuana Registry identification card to possess no more than 2 ounces of a usable ...

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