ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — After recreational marijuana use was made legal in Illinois in 2020, workers may be wondering if they can be fired for use of the drug at work.
The Illinois Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act makes it “unlawful for an employer to refuse to hire or to discharge any individual [or to disadvantage as to compensation or terms of employment] because the individual uses lawful products off the premises of the employer during non-working and non-call hours.”
This means workers can’t be punished if they use marijuana on their own time, as long as they don’t use it at work or show up to work under the influence.
Employers are still legally allowed to have zero-tolerance policies for workplace marijuana use.
The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act does not “prohibit an employer from adopting reasonable zero tolerance or drug-free workplace policies, or employment policies concerning drug testing, smoking, consumption, storage, or use of cannabis in the workplace or while on call provided that the policy is applied in a nondiscriminatory manner.”
Employers can still have policies related to drug testing, smoking or consuming cannabis while at the workplace, or performing job duties, and can prohibit an employee from using or being under the influence of marijuana while at work.
And yes, you can be fired.
However, employers must have a reasonable determination that an employee is actually under the influence at work, which could include documenting coordination problems, demeanor, unusual behavior, or carelessness on the job.
State law says that marijuana cannot be smoked in public places, such as hospitals, government places, streets and parks, according to Health Care Weekly. Residents are able to smoke at a private residence, which includes their home or friend’s homes. However, it cannot be done if a minor is present.
Illinois residents over 21 years of age can possess 30 grams of cannabis flower, 500 milligrams of THC-infused cannabis products, and 5 grams of cannabis concentrate.