Workplace drug policy workshop in Carson City

With medical marijuana already legal in Nevada and an initiative on this year’s ballot to legalize recreational use of the drug, employers may be in a quandary as to how to adapt their policies.

The Carson City Chamber of Commerce and Partnership Carson City are offering a free marijuana drug policy workshop 8:30-11:30 a.m. or 1:30-4:30 p.m. Oct. 18, at the Carson Chamber Training Room, 1900 S. Carson St.

“We’re in an age where more and more funding sources are requiring drug-free workplaces,” said Kathy Bartosz, executive director of Partnership Carson City. “That has to be followed up with a policy, and the way you word that policy is how you get yourself out of trouble.”

Instructor Jo McGuire will lead attendees through the process of writing a workplace policy, along with various templates to follow.

“By the time you leave, you will have a policy ready to put in place,” Bartosz said.

While marijuana will be the focus, Bartosz said, all drug use will be addressed.

According to McGuire’s presentation, employee drug use costs U.S. businesses more than $129 billion per year in lost revenue. Small businesses can lose up to $7,000/month in lost productivity, employee turnover, absenteeism and tardiness.

A solid policy is the best way to protect both the employer and employees, Bartosz said.

“You’re opening yourself up to legal action unless you have something in writing, and it needs to be signed,” she said. “It’s all about protecting you but still being reasonable when it comes to the expectations of your employees.”

It should also reflect changing laws.

“Medical marijuana is already touchy,” Bartosz said. “If we add recreational use, we’re going to have a whole new set of issues to deal with.”

Call (775) 882-1565 by Oct. 14 to RSVP and indicate which session you’d like to attend.


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