Maine Prevents Discrimination Based on Off Duty Marijuana Use

February 20th, 2018 | Sterling

On November 8, 2016, Maine voters approved “An Act to Legalize Marijuana”. The act has a provision which prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee for off duty marijuana use. The act became effective on February 1st, 2018.

The act will prohibit employers from refusing to employ or taking any adverse action against a person who is over the age of 21 solely for that person’s consuming marijuana outside of the employers property. The law does not prohibit an employer from having policies restricting employees from using marijuana in the workplace or disciplining employees who are under the influence of marijuana in the workplace. If an employee is suspected of being under the influence of marijuana, the positive drug test alone will not be sufficient to prove that the employee is under the influence.

The law does not affect employers that are required to perform marijuana testing under federal law such as Department of Transportation regulations.

Clients should consider the following items to discuss with counsel based on this new act:

  1. Review your need to test applicants for Marijuana
  2. Decide how to handle random and reasonable suspicion testing
  3. Consider modifying their current drug policy and submitting it to the department of labor for approval
  4. Consider conflict between Maine and Federal law regarding the legality of marijuana

More information on the Act can be located at

The information contained herein is for informational purposes only. Clients are encouraged to consult with their legal counsel on the impact of this new law. Sterling is not a law firm, and none of the information contained in this notice is intended as legal advice.

Sterling is not a law firm. This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.