Labour & Employment Law Blog

What Employers Should Do about the Legalization of Marijuana

Zeilikman Law

Zeilikman Law

What Employers Should Do about the Legalization of Marijuana

Barring any delays, the recreational use of marijuana is expected to be legalized this summer.

Under the federal legislation, persons of at least 18 years, will soon be permitted to possess up to 30 grams of pot and grow up to 4 plants (under 1-metre tall). The sale and distribution of marijuana will be regulated by the government; so, anything to do with illegal marijuana (i.e., purchasing, possession, sales or distribution), will still be illegal.

With the legalization of recreational marijuana, we may see more of it not only in social scenarios, but also at work.  To get ahead of upcoming changes and challenges, employers should create a clear employment policy that specifically concerns marijuana and the workplace.  In making a policy on pot, employers should:

  1. Treat the use of marijuana like the use of any other intoxicating substance. An employer has the right to expect staff members to come to work sober.  An employee has an obligation to do a job safely, and an employer may prohibit the use of marijuana before or during work.
  2. Consider making accommodations.  Marijuana addiction is considered a disability under the Ontario Human Rights Code, and an employer must accommodate an employee who is addicted to marijuana.  Similarly, some medical marijuana users must also be accommodated up to the point of “undue hardship”.  In both cases, an employer must explore the reasonable accommodations they can provide.  Any allowed accommodations must be balanced with safety.
  3. Enforce it.  Ensure employees know the policy and understand what will happen if they breach it.  Because it may be difficult to determine if an employee is “high” or “stoned”, it may also be difficult to fire an employee for suspected marijuana use.  Most employers will not be able to carry out random or mandatory testing without providing reasonable cause to do so, so employers should be educated in how to spot and detect workers who may have breached a marijuana policy while remaining compliant with their obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code.  In addition to recognizing any physical signs of intoxication, employers should consider an employee’s performance, productivity and attendance when investigating a possible misuse of marijuana in the workplace.

If you have any questions or need help creating your own policy on marijuana, please contact an employment lawyer.

The above article is for general information purposes only, does not constitute legal advice or create a solicitor-client relationship. Because each case is unique and factually driven, if you have concerns with regard to the foregoing issues, please make an appointment with one of our lawyers or a qualified legal practitioner elsewhere. We represent clients in the Greater Toronto Area including Toronto, North York, Markham, Vaughan, Thornhill, Newmarket, Aurora, Brampton, Mississauga, Barrie, Ajax, Whitby, Pickering and Oshawa.

Legal Receptionist

Zeilikman Law is an employment law firm located in Vaughan, Ontario. We are looking to hire a legal receptionist to join our firm. Preference will be given to candidates who have experience working as a receptionist at another law firm.

Location: Vaughan, Ontario.

Start Date: Immediately.

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Full time. In-person only. This is not a remote work position.

Wages: 35,000 to 40,000 per year.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Manage our firm’s multi-line telephone system to receive incoming calls.  Screen incoming telephone call inquiries to determine the nature of the telephone call and provide standard information related to our legal services.  Take and deliver messages and route incoming telephone calls to the appropriate staff person.
  • Answer general inquiries coming from the firm’s social media and website email.
  • Welcome in-person visitors upon arrival.  Direct visitors to the appropriate staff person and / or office or boardroom.
  • Organize in-person visitor schedule to prevent overlap and multiple bookings.
  • Receive, sort, and distribute daily mail and deliveries.
  • Arrange for couriers.
  • Keep front reception, kitchenette area and boardroom tidy.
  • Perform various clerical duties such as filing, photocopying, and faxing on an as-needed basis.
  • Process client or other payments.
  • May be asked to run minor errands outside of office such as attending post office to arrange a courier or pick up mail.
  • May be asked to assist other law clerks or lawyers of the firm as required and as appropriate.
  • Any other basic administrative duties or tasks as deemed appropriate.

Required Skills:

  • Basic knowledge of general office procedures including filing, faxing, and printing and copying.
  • Basic word processing computer skills.
  • Proficient in receptionist and telephone practices, etiquette, and decorum.
  • Professional attitude and appearance.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Positive customer service attitude is a must.
  • Must be able to maintain confidential and sensitive information.

Education and Experience:

  • Highschool diploma or equivalent.
  • 1 – 2 years’ experience in an office setting with an emphasis in accounting, reception or clerical work is required.   We would prefer experience in a law firm environment.

Applications for this position should be sent via email to jennifer@zeilikmanlaw.com. All applications should include a cover letter, resume and at least two references. Only successful candidates will be contacted.