Pennsylvania Alcohol and Drugs laws & HR compliance analysis

Pennsylvania Alcohol and Drugs: What you need to know

Pennsylvania does not have a state law that regulates or prohibits drug testing in the private sector. However, private employers that choose to implement a testing program should be sensitive to the privacy issues involved. For example, a random drug testing policy may compete with an individual's right to privacy. Pennsylvania courts use a balancing test that seeks to determine whether a reasonable person would find the employer's program highly offensive. The courts weight the employee's privacy with the employer's interest in maintaining a substance-free workplace.
Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation law upholds an employer’s right to discharge an employee following a positive drug test. In Pennsylvania, an employee is ineligible for unemployment compensation if he or she was discharged or suspended because of:
• A failure to submit to a legitimate drug test; or
• A failure to pass a legitimate drug test. For Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation purposes, all employer drug tests must be conducted under the employer’s established substance abuse policy.
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The Medical Marijuana Act (MMA) (PA Stat. Tit. 35 Sec. 10231.101 et seq.) allows patients to use medical marijuana if they suffer from a "serious medical condition," which includes 17 different conditions such as cancer, ALS, and Parkinson's disease. Patients must obtain two documents before they can use medical marijuana: (1) a medical practitioner's certification that they suffer from a serious medical condition and (2) an identification card from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
Although most people know marijuana as a drug that is smoked, smoking cannabis is unlawful under the MMA. Medical marijuana may be dispensed only as ...

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