New Mexico Alcohol and Drugs laws & HR compliance analysis

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 a person’s major life activities,” having a record of a handicap, or being regarded as having a handicap (NM Stat. Sec. 28-1-1 et 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 employee with alcoholism to the same qualifications and job performance standards as other employees, even if unsatisfactory performance is caused by the disease.
The Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act allows the use of marijuana to treat specific medical conditions, such as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, and cancer (NM Stat. Sec. 26-2B-1 et seq.). Qualified patients receive medical certification and have a registry identification card after registering with the state. The law does not protect a patient from criminal prosecution or civil penalty for possession or use of cannabis in the patient’s workplace (NM Stat. Sec. 26-2B-5).
Effective June 14, 2019, it is ...

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