Date and Time: Download only
Run Time: 90 minutes including Q & A session
Leader: Dr. Jim Castagnera, Attorney at Law
Credits: Awarded 1.5 credit hours by HRCI and 1.5 PDCs by SHRM
Price: Download $325 (Share the download with your colleagues)
Audience: HR, benefits, finance, managers and supervisors, CEOs, in-house counsel, etc.


President Biden has indicated that he is in favor of decriminalizing the use of marijuana and amending the federal Controlled Substances Act to change the classification of marijuana from a Schedule 1 to a far less serious Schedule 2 drug.  The House of Representatives has passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinstatement and Expungement Act (MORE) which legalizes the use of marijuana and expunges the records of people who have been convicted for using marijuana.

Despite all this activity at the federal level, the real movement to legalize the use of marijuana is at the state level.  Approximately 70 percent of the states and the District of Columbia have already enacted legislation legalizing the use of marijuana for medical reasons.  And of these 35 states, nearly 45 percent also have laws permitting the use of marijuana for recreational purposes.       

The unmistakable trend is towards the full legalization of cannabis for both medical and recreational purposes.  In many states this is already the law.  This leaves employers wondering just how much control over their employees they really have when it comes to controlling the use of marijuana by their workers both at work and when they are off duty.  Employers have questions.  For example, in states where cannabis is legal, can job applicants and current employees be tested for drugs?  What can an employer do if an employee is high while at work? What changes in policies are required to reflect these new workplace realities?  Is permitting the use of pot at work a reasonable workplace accommodation?  So many unanswered questions.

Please join Dr. Jim Castagnera, an experienced employment law attorney, when he unravels the confusion surrounding the legalization of marijuana and its permitted uses in the workplace.  He’ll discuss the findings of recent case law and offer employers guidance for how to maintain control of their workplaces while recognizing that the rights of employees to use marijuana both at work and after work are changing rapidly across the nation. 


During this informative webinar Dr. Castagnera will discuss:

  • Progress at the federal level to legalize the use of cannabis and a possible timetable
  • Trends at the state level to enact new legislation to legalize the use of marijuana for medical reasons, recreational purposes, or both
  • State legislation protecting employees from workplace discipline for marijuana use
  • Relevant case law which is helping to clear up some of the confusion surrounding the use of marijuana in the workplace
  • Changes in the right to drug test job applicants and current employees
  • How to deal with an employee who is impaired at work. What about employees who smoke pot on a break and off-site?
  • Can an employer terminate an employee for using pot either at work or off-duty?
  • Is the use of pot at work considered a possible reasonable accommodation under the ADA?
  • How state statutes conflict with the requirements of the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act (DFWA)
  • Federal Department of Transportation rules prohibiting commercial drivers from using marijuana
  • How companies with collective bargaining agreements may be required to renegotiate their drug testing and drug use policies with their unions
  • Required revisions to current workplace drug testing and accommodation policies


Jim Castagnera holds an M.A. in journalism from Kent State University, and a J.D. and Ph.D. (American studies) from Case Western Reserve University. He worked 10 years as a labor, employment, and intellectual-property attorney with Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr and 23 years as associate provost & legal counsel for academic affairs at Rider University, where in 2018 he received the university’s highest annual award for distinguished service. He also did stints as a full-time law professor at UT-Austin and Widener University Law School.

Having retired from Rider in 2019, he is engaged in a portfolio of activities: member and chief consultant of Holland Media Services LLC, a communications and training company with offices in Philadelphia and Los Angeles; member of Portum Group International LLC, a cyber security & privacy consulting firm in Philadelphia; of counsel to Washington International Business Counsel; and adjunct professor of Law in the Kline School of Law at Drexel University.