Quarterly Updates

Spring 2024

Substance Use Disorder in the Workplace: What Employers Need to Know

By Deena Cohen, MPA, CADC, CTTS, WTS

Director of Community Programs, GoMo Health

According to the National Institute of Health, drug use has increased by 16 percent and alcohol use has increased by 23 percent in the past three years in the United States, with 1 in 11 workers currently suffering from an untreated substance use disorder (SUD). When substance use and addiction are not addressed in the workplace, these disorders are costly and dangerous for organizations, as well as individuals.

Winter 2024

NJ Continues to Struggle with Scope of Cannabis Law & Other Legal Developments

By Nancy N. Delogu, Esq., Littler Mendelson

Three years after New Jersey legalized cannabis for adult recreational use, significant questions remain regarding the law, verbosely titled the “Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act” (CREAMMA), and its impact on employers and their drug-free workplace programs.

Fall 2023

What’s All the Buzz About Oral Fluids Testing?

By Nancy N. Delogu, Esq. and Lauren J. Marcus, Esq., Littler Mendelson

Concerns about drug-impaired workers have certainly evolved over the last few years, with New Jersey adopting employment protections for workers who engage in off-work marijuana use, and overdose deaths claiming more than 109,000 American lives in 2022. Opioids such as fentanyl have accounted for many of those deaths.

Summer 2023

Is There a Private Right of Action for Discrimination Against Cannabis Users in New Jersey? A Federal Court Says No.

By Stephen E. Trimboli, Esq., Trimboli & Prusinowski, L.L.C.

New Jersey’s Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (CREAMMA) makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against employees because they do or do not use lawful cannabis products. This includes the refusal to hire an applicant because the applicant does or does not use lawful cannabis products. In addition, an employee cannot be subject to any adverse action by an employer solely due to the presence of cannabinoid metabolites in the employee’s bodily fluid. But does this statute entitle an employee to sue an employer for an alleged violation of these rights? In Zanetich v. Wal-Mart Stores East, Inc., decided by the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey on May 25, 2023, the answer was “no”.

Spring 2023

The Status of Drug Recognition Experts Remains Unresolved & the Impact on the Workplace Impairment Recognition Expert (WIRE)

By Stephen E. Trimboli, Esq., Trimboli & Prusinowski, L.L.C.

On February 17, 2023, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in State v. Michael Olenowski, the latest chapter in the ongoing dispute whether the testimony of certified Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) is admissible as expert testimony in court. Resolution of this question will have serious implications for the so-called Workplace Impairment Recognition Expert (WIRE) program that the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) is mandated to create. Unfortunately, despite two trips to the Supreme Court and a Special Master’s report of over 300 pages in length, the issue remains unresolved.

Winter 2023

Two Years Later, Significant Questions Remain for NJ Employers Concerned About Employee Cannabis Use

By Nancy N. Delogu, Esq. and Lauren J. Marcus, Esq. – Littler Mendelson

More than two years after Governor Murphy signed the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (the Act), employers are still waiting for guidance on their obligations and options as to work force marijuana use.

Fall 2022

Why Stigma Doesn’t Work & What Employers Can Do

By Celina Levy
Ex. Dir., Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (GCADA)

Human Resources – the operative word being “human.” Seeing employees as human beings is an approach essential to the health of both the employees and the workplace. If employers do not embrace this approach, they will at the very least see negative outcomes in productivity and output, and at the very worst, the health of their employees will suffer. With that in mind, I believe most of us can agree that a human approach to Human Resources is a win-win situation for all concerned.

Summer 2022

Recognizing Stress and Anxiety at Work: Reintegrating the Workforce

By John J. Sarno, President of the Employers Association of New Jersey

It’s back to the job for many New Jersey workers. But other than those employers in a state of denial, most understand reintegrating the workforce is not a flip of a switch. Attention to physical and mental health and safety, so closely tied to productivity and morale, will forever be part of the workplace. Nevertheless, before the coronavirus pandemic, many employers reported their businesses suffering from the malaise of low morale and low employee engagement. They cited a lack of meaningful strategies to address these issues even as their bottom lines were being negatively impacted, according to a survey by the Employers Association of New Jersey (EANJ).

Spring 2022

Report by the Center for Construction Research and Training Identifies the Impact the Pandemic has had on Substance Abuse & Mental Health among Construction Workers

By Bill Lillis, CPS

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how work is done in many ways. Clearly one area where a fundamental shift has taken place is the need for employers to focus on mental health. Employers have realized that when an employee is experiencing a mental health issue, the problem is often exacerbated by the use and misuse of alcohol, marijuana, opioids and/or other drugs. Research conducted by The Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR) clearly demonstrates that mental health and substance abuse are often intertwined within the workplace.

Winter 2022

Marijuana Legalization One Year Later – What Have Employers Learned?

By Nancy N. Delogu, Esq., Littler Mendelson

A year ago this week, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed the legislature-passed Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (“CREAMMA”), formalizing the state’s embrace of marijuana as a consumer product. CREAMMA implements the New Jersey electorate’s November 2020 vote in favor of legalizing marijuana in the Garden State. In adopting CREAMMA, New Jersey also became the first state to create substantial employment protections for workers who use marijuana. One year later, it is appropriate to assess what has changed with respect to New Jersey’s drug-free workplaces, what has not, and where the rules surrounding marijuana use and the workplace remain murky.


New York State Guidance on Adult Use Cannabis and the Workplace

Stephen E. Trimboli, Esq., Trimboli & Prusinowski, L.L.C.

On March 31, 2021, following New Jersey’s lead, the State of New York enacted employment protections for employees who use cannabis products in accordance with New York State law. On October 8, 2021, the New York State Department of Labor issued a “Frequently Asked Questions” guidance document relating to adult-use cannabis and its effect on the workplace. DDW-NJ members who have employees in New York as well as New Jersey need to be familiar with these new workplace restrictions that will apply to their New York operations.

Fall 2021

New Jersey Marijuana Law Employment Provisions Take Effect

By Lauren J. Marcus, Esq., Littler Mendelson

On August 19, 2021, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (the Commission) issued long-awaited initial rules implementing the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (the Act), which Governor Murphy signed on February 22, 2021. The Act legalizes the use of a form of recreational marijuana (referred to throughout the legislation as “cannabis”) for adults over the age of 21 and creates many obstacles for employers seeking to maintain a drug-free workplace. The new rules deal almost exclusively with the provisions governing the recreational cannabis market, leaving many employer questions unanswered.

Summer 2021

New Jersey Law Limiting Employer Inquiries into Marijuana-Related Criminal Histories Takes Effect July 1, 2021

By Stephen E. Trimboli, Esq. Trimboli & Prusinowski, LLC

On February 22, 2021, as a companion to the “New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act,” Governor Murphy also signed legislation “concerning certain criminal and civil justice reforms, particularly addressing the legal consequences associated with certain marijuana and hashish offenses.” Of particular interest to employers are the prohibitions this legislation places on employers’ ability to inquire into, and take action based on, specific marijuana-related criminal histories.

Spring 2021

Are You Prepared to Address the Mental Health Impact of COVID-19 in Your Workplace?

Written by Jaime Angelini, MA, DRCC, Statewide Director of Disaster Services and Special Projects for the Mental Health Association in New Jersey & Ruth Kaluski, MS, CRC, LMHC, Statewide Director of Career Connection Employment Resource Institute of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey

The COVID-19 pandemic significantly changed the framework for many New Jersey businesses, companies and organizations. More than a year after the pandemic disrupted everyday life, employers and human resource directors continue to work diligently to maintain business operations and implement strategies designed to prevent and reduce transmission of the virus in the workplace. When talking with employers, we frequently hear about the considerable efforts needed to keep employees safe from the physical health effects of COVID-19. As mental health educators, we often ask, “How are you addressing the mental health effects?”

Winter 2021


By Stephen E. Trimboli, Esq. Trimboli & Prusinowski, LLC

On December 17, 2020, the State Senate and Assembly passed the “New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act.” Follwing discussions with the legislature to resolve an issue over the penalties for underage use, Governor Murphy signed the Act into law on February 22, 2021.

Fall 2020

How New Jersey Employers Can Brace for the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana

By Bill Current, President of the Current Consulting Group

Marijuana use and safety-sensitive workplaces are a dangerous combination, and the legalization of cannabis has coincided with a dramatic increase in the number of marijuana users, according to a new government report. That means more people are driving under the influence of marijuana, more employees are testing positive for marijuana, and they are causing more workplace accidents. Unfortunately, it appears that there’s more of that on the horizon.

Summer 2020

Guidelines from the National Safety Council on the Impact of COVID 19 on Substance Abuse & Mental Health in the Workplace

National Safety Council (NSC) President and CEO Lorraine Martin challenged business leaders across the country to take aggressive action to ensure employee safety from COVID-19. “We all must take care of our employees. They are our greatest asset and they deserve protection, now more than ever. In a recent survey, over 70 percent of NSC member companies indicated they have employees still reporting to work, unable to work remotely. Many of these employees are in critical roles and crucial to supporting the functioning of our society. In partnership with our employees, we as leaders must be vigilant as we grapple with a workplace safety issue we’ve never seen and face the challenge of protecting those on the front lines.  First, business leaders cannot forget that the everyday risks their employees face easily can be compounded by the pandemic. Many companies are operating with skeleton crews, which could lead to worker fatigue – an issue that impacts more than 90 percent of employees. Some employees will need proper training on new equipment and operations, so issues like distraction and complacency are important to address. Business leaders must understand that added stress can lead to spikes in substance use disorders, and 75 percent of businesses have been directly impacted by opioid misuse under usual conditions. Caring about employees’ physical and mental wellbeing are paramount.”

Spring 2020

Maintaining Effective Drug Testing Procedures During the COVID-19 Pandemic

During this COVID-19 pandemic, workplace drug testing will require new rules and new precautions, but it should never be compromised. Here is a real-life incident involving a test subject who, while waiting to take a drug test, realized that a co-worker was coughing in the restroom. He then refused to enter the restroom because there was a risk that his co-worker might have COVID-19. The test was being conducted at a remote location in a company trailer on-site. There was no other restroom available. The employee’s concern was valid, of course, because the coronavirus is highly contagious. But this understandably raised a red flag that perhaps he was avoiding the test. Only a short time before, he was willing to work alongside the co-worker with no apparent concern for his health. How would your organization handle this situation?

Winter 2020

Two New Jersey Court Rulings on Marijuana Use that Affect Your Workplace

On March 10, 2020, in a brief decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court summarily affirmed the decision of the Superior Court, Appellate Division, in Justin Wild v. Carriage Funeral Holdings, Inc.
Wild involved a funeral director who had been diagnosed with cancer and prescribed marijuana under New Jersey’s original Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act, prior to its 2019 amendment. His employer allegedly learned of the employee’s use of medical marijuana after the employee was injured in an automobile accident. (The employee alleged that marijuana played no role in the accident). The employee was terminated shortly thereafter. The employee claimed he was first told that his employer had been unable to “handle” his marijuana use and that his employment was being terminated “because they found drugs in [his] system.” The employee alleged that no positive drug test result had ever been produced or reported to his employer and that he was later told that he had been terminated because he failed to disclose his use of medication that could impair his ability to perform his job duties.

Fall 2019

How New Jersey’s New Medical Cannabis Law Affects Employers

Substance use disorder is a chronic medical condition, and as such, it is vital that companies take a proactive approach rather than a reactive and/or punitive approach. A comprehensive approach would mean combining preventative screening and detection programs with resources and assistance programs to help employees with substance use disorders find the treatment and support needed to stay in remission. Engaging in health and education programs can prevent a possible problem from occurring in the first place, or from escalating. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) can work to offer short-term counseling and/or assistance in linking employees with alcohol and/or drug problems to local treatment resources, including peer support/recovery groups. EAPs have been found to be highly effective resources for addressing substance abuse issues.

Summer 2019

How New Jersey’s New Medical Cannabis Law Affects Employers

On July 2, 2019, Governor Murphy signed into law the “Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act.” The law significantly expanded New Jersey’s medical marijuana program, established a new Cannabis Regulatory Commission, and created an extensive, detailed regulatory scheme based on what had been proposed in the recreational marijuana bills that failed to pass the legislature. Among other things, the new law discards the term, “marijuana,” in favor of the term, “cannabis.”

Spring 2019

Conflicting Court Decisions on Medical Marijuana and Pending Legislation on Recreational Use of Marijuana

New Jersey adopted the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (CUMMA) in 2009, making New Jersey the fourteenth state to permit the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Like all such state laws, CUMMA created an exception to the laws criminalizing the production, sale, purchase, possession and use of marijuana. A limited category of qualified patients and their primary caregivers, with proper written authorization from their treating physicians, may purchase and utilize limited amounts of marijuana for medical purposes. Organizations licensed by the State, known as “alternative treatment centers,” are the sole authorized providers of medical marijuana. CUMMA affords registered patients with an affirmative defense against criminal prosecution and shields qualified users and suppliers from civil and administrative remedies. However, CUMMA expressly warns that “[n]othing in [CUMMA] shall be construed to require … an employer to accommodate the medical use of marijuana in any workplace.” N.J.S.A. 24:6I-14.

Winter 2019

OSHA Reconsiders Post-Accident Drug Testing: Proceed, but Still Use Caution

On May 12, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the United States Department of Labor shook up the employment community by suggesting that post-accident drug testing could no longer be lawful. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration had that day released an amended rule pertaining to the reporting and tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. The amendment included a prohibition against employers discharging or in any manner discriminating against employees for reporting work-related injuries or illnesses. Although the amended rule itself did not mention post-accident drug testing in any way, the sixty-seven pages of “Supplementary Information” that accompanied the amended rule suggested that automatic post-injury drug testing could be considered “a form of adverse action that can discourage reporting” of work-related injuries and illnesses. Although drug testing was deemed “a reasonable workplace policy in some situations, it is often perceived as an invasion of privacy.”

Fall 2018

Good News and Bad News on Substance Use Trends

This edition of the Drugs Don’t Work in NJ quarterly update focuses on recent trends in substance use and misuse in New Jersey and the United States, which feature both positive and negative developments. Part 1 of the update, contributed by Quest Diagnostics, highlights the 2017 drug testing results for various substances, including cocaine, opioids and marijuana. On an encouraging note, positive tests for prescription opioids have declined, but unfortunately, cocaine and marijuana are becoming more commonly detected in drug tests. In Part 2, the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey takes a closer look at the numbers behind the opioid epidemic in New Jersey. The number of opioid prescriptions has decreased, but the total number of opioid overdoses continued to rise..

Summer 2018

Workplace Drug Use Surges to a 10-Year High, as Employers Focus on Working with Individuals Suffering from Addiction

Daily news reports detail the tragic effects of illegal drug use and addiction on individuals, families and communities. Typically, our workplaces serve as a microcosm of the larger society. Quest Diagnostics’ most recent Drug Testing Index, covering 2017 and published in June 2018, reveals that the number of positive workplace drug tests has increased year-over-year to levels last seen more than a decade ago.

Spring 2018

Are You Prepared to Address the Opioid Crisis in Your Workplace?

The workplace is not immune to the opioid crisis that has gripped New Jersey. Managers and business owners are facing the challenges on a more frequent basis as both their employees and customers are impacted. This year’s DDW Annual Seminar provided an overview of the scope of the opioid crisis by Assistant Special Agent In Charge Nicholas Kolen from the Drug Enforcement Administration, New Jersey Division.

Winter 2018

New Trends in Workforce Drug Use

In the early afternoon of Jan. 4, 1987, an Amtrak train crashed into a locomotive 18 miles northeast of Baltimore, causing 16 deaths and dozens of injuries. In post-accident drug and alcohol testing, the engineer driving the train tested positive for marijuana, although no one noticed anything unusual about his behavior before the crash that day.

Fall 2017

Enforcement Activities and the Opioid Crisis

The battle to stem the tide of the opioid epidemic has many fronts. As the epidemic is top-of-mind in the nation’s collective consciousness, extending to the President and state governors, the fight has also turned to the courts. Recently the New York Attorney General announced that a coalition of 41 Attorneys General from around the country have issued subpoenas on a number of pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors. The subpoenas seek information on the methods the manufacturers and distributors employ in marketing opioids to prescribers.

Summer 2017

The New Workplace Addiction Cost Calculator Helps Businesses Understand the Real Costs of Substance Use in the Workforce Find Out How Much Substance Use Disorders Are Costing Your Business

Nearly 100 professionals arrived at Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City for the 20th Annual Legal Issues of a Drug-Free Workplace Statewide Seminar held by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) on Wednesday, June 7. At the event, PDFNJ also honored former Gov. James J. Florio by presenting him with the Drugs Don’t Work in NJ! Founder’s Award for his active role in establishing the program in 1992.

Spring 2017

Experts Address Legal Issues of Drug-Free Workplace at 20th Annual Drugs Don’t Work in NJ! Seminar

Nearly 100 professionals arrived at Saint Peter’s University in Jersey City for the 20th Annual Legal Issues of a Drug-Free Workplace Statewide Seminar held by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) on Wednesday, June 7. At the event, PDFNJ also honored former Gov. James J. Florio by presenting him with the Drugs Don’t Work in NJ! Founder’s Award for his active role in establishing the program in 1992.

Winter 2017

Must New Jersey Employers Reimburse Medical Marijuana Costs Under Their Workers’ Compensation Plans?

On December 15, 2016, a New Jersey Judge of Workers’ Compensation issued a decision requiring an employee’s medical marijuana expenses to be reimbursed by his employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. As one of the first decisions in the country holding medical marijuana costs to be compensable by a workers’ compensation insurer, the case gathered substantial national attention in the popular media. It made New Jersey the fourth state, along with Maine, Minnesota and New Mexico, in which a workers’ compensation insurer has been ordered to pay for medical marijuana for an injured worker.

Fall 2016

OSHA and Post-Accident Drug Testing: Proceed with Caution

On May 12, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the United States Department of Labor released amended regulations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) pertaining to the reporting and tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. Employers are required to “establish a reasonable procedure for employees to report work-related injuries and illnesses promptly and accurately.”

Spring 2016

Drug Use Is Up

There is bad news for employers who strive for drug free workplaces. The annual Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index (DTI) shows that the positive drug test rates for almost 6,600,000 urine drug tests in the U.S. workforce increased by 9.3 % in 2014 compared to 2013. The year 2013 was the first year in ten years in which the overall positive rate for urine drug tests increased. Prior to 2013, positive results went down nearly every year for over 24 years.

Winter 2016

Prescription Opioids Carry Substantial Risks

The prescribing of opioid painkillers is becoming more common – and more dangerous – so increased awareness is necessary, particularly in the workplace. By being aware of the problems and committed to preventing it, companies can play a decisive role in the well-being of New Jersey’s citizens.

Fall 2015

DUI: It’s Not Just About Alcohol

Driving is a complex task that requires continuous information processing and coordinated responses to ever-changing traffic while operating a multi-ton vehicle on public roads. Clearly, drugs that alter a driver’s normal brain functioning can create an extremely hazardous situation. Drugged driving has become a national threat that rivals the dangers caused by the better-recognized problem of drunk driving. The massive national response to drunk driving – including more than 1.5 million arrests a year for DUI – has driven those numbers down over the past decade. But the nation’s 16 million current users of illegal drugs have faced no similar effort as they continue to drive under the influence of drugs like marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and opiates.

Summer 2015

Legalized Marijuana and the Drug-Free Workplace, the Saga Continues: Coats v. Dish Networks, LLC.

The national trend toward liberalization of marijuana laws continues. As of this writing, 23 states and the District of Columbia allow the sale, purchase and use of marijuana for medical purposes, while four states – Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Colorado – and the District of Columbia permit the sale and consumption of marijuana for recreational purposes. Yet this apparent sea-change in attitudes toward marijuana use has not yet impacted employers’ ability to maintain drug-free workplaces. Virtually every state court that has addressed the issue has followed the lead of California Supreme Court, which held, in a case called Ross v. Ragingwire Telecommunications, Inc., that employers are not required to accommodate employees who use medical marijuana, and that employees may lawfully be terminated for testing positive for medical marijuana in a workplace drug test.

Spring 2015

The Therapeutic Utility of Employment in Treating Drug Addiction: Science to Application

Addressing chronic drug addiction among unemployed and economically disadvantaged adults is a daunting challenge. Employment is critical in addressing the poverty and economic disadvantage; however, controlled research suggests that employment could play a valuable role in treating drug addiction as well. Contrary to common conceptions, employment alone may not have robust effects on drug use.

Winter 2015

New Legislation Poised to Create Safer, Healthier New Jersey

It’s impossible to ignore the dark cloud of prescription drug and heroin that has loomed over our state for the last few years. 2013 saw a staggering number of opioid overdose deaths across our state. When all was said and done, two families lost a loved one to this devastating epidemic everyday. In 2014, the Narcan program was launched, which put the lifesaving overdose reversal medication in the hands of law enforcement and first responders, saving hundreds of lives. Now, in 2015, our lawmakers and law enforcement officials are working to establish vital partnerships with treatment facilities to get those who are resuscitated by Narcan the help they need to finally end their addiction.”

Fall 2014

Can an Employer Test Employees for the Lawful Use of Prescription Drugs? One Employer is Fighting for its Policy

In recent years, the percentage of Americans taking prescription drugs has increased dramatically. During the most recent period, from 2007 to 2010, about 48 percent of people said they were taking a prescription medication, and one in ten are estimated to take five or more prescription medications at the same time, which significantly increases the likelihood of adverse interactions between the medications, according to the Centers for Disease Control report titled “Health, United States, 2013.”

Summer 2014

Drug Trends Increase for the First Time in 10 Years

With both Washington State and Colorado now legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, businesses throughout the country are beginning to ask many questions as to how this change may impact the workforce.

Spring 2014

Does Your Employee Assistance Program Comply with New Jersey Law?

Mandatory Follow-Up Alcohol Testing Violates Rights of Alcoholic Employees, New Jersey Appeals Court Concludes

Winter 2014

The ADA, FMLA, and the Illegal Use of Prescription Drugs at Work

A recent decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit provides insight into the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as to employees misusing prescription drugs in the workplace.

Fall 2013

Annual Drug Testing Survey Shows Mixed Results

For this edition of the quarterly Drugs Don’t Work newsletter, I’m pleased to report some good news: Americans in the workplace are testing positive less to marijuana and cocaine, according to a new study just published by Quest Diagnostics, Inc. Unfortunately, with good news often comes bad news: positive tests for amphetamines and other prescription drugs are on the rise.

Summer 2013

Marijuana Legalization – Coming Soon? What the Evolving Marijuana Laws Mean to the Workplace

Last November, voters in Colorado and Washington voted, by a slim margin, to legalize the use of marijuana for all individuals over the age of 21. Colorado’s new law, which expressly suggested that the state should regulate the use and sale of marijuana like alcohol, was foreseeable, as Colorado in 2000 adopted a medical marijuana law that was expanded to offer marijuana to individuals with a generous array of health concerns.

Spring 2013

Medical Marijuana and The Drug-Free Workplace In New Jersey

Nearly three years after it was passed, and following numerous false starts, the “New Jersey Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act” finally became a reality with the opening of New Jersey’s first medical marijuana dispensary — the Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair — on December 6, 2012. It is now timely to ask the question: What impact will New Jersey’s Medicinal Marijuana Program (MMP) have on employer efforts to create and maintain drug-free workplaces?

Winter 2013

How Prescription Drug Abuse Became a Workplace Problem… and what Employers Can Do About It

According to the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, the abuse of prescription drugs has soared in recent years, coming in second only to marijuana use as the nation’s most commonly abused illegal drug.

Fall 2012

Synthetic Marijuana(K2/Spice) & DEA NEWS: Nationwide Synthetic Drug Takedown

K2 or “spice” are terms used to describe a variety of products made of dried, shredded plant material laced with synthetic compounds.

WASHINGTON – More than 90 individuals were arrested and more than five million packets of finished designer synthetic drugs were seized in the first-ever nationwide law enforcement action against the synthetic designer drug industry responsible for the production and sale of synthetic drugs that are often marketed as bath salts, Spice, incense, or plant food.

Summer 2012

Drug and Alcohol Testing for Holders of Commercial Driver’s Licenses

To achieve the goal of a drug- and alcohol-free transportation environment, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) has adopted regulations (the “DOT Regulations”) requiring certain commercial motor vehicle operators to be tested for alcohol and drugs.

Spring 2012

What’s In a Policy – Does Your Drug-Free Workplace Policy Work?

Last year, Drugs Don’t Work New Jersey undertook a survey of in-state employers, to gauge their drug-free workplace policies and practices.

Winter 2012

Company Health Concerns, Workplace Policy, & Employee Drug and Alcohol Testing,

As a follow up to a study PDFNJ commissioned in 2008, Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind recently completed a telephone survey of 301 randomly selected employers in NJ, including an oversampling of businesses with over 100 employees.

Fall 2011

New Jersey Trends in Substance Abuse

No matter how hard we work at substance abuse prevention, education, and treatment, the nature of addiction seems to ensure that it will be a long time before the United States can conclude that it has eliminated the scourge, much as it once eliminated polio.

Summer 2011

Case study: When does “current” drug use become “former” drug use?

One of the more difficult issues for employers dealing with drug use in the workplace is distinguishing between employees “currently engaged” in the illegal use of drugs and those who are no longer so engaging.

Spring 2011

It’s time to start winning the War on Drugs

New Jersey Drug Court Program Economic Impact

Winter 2011

ADA Limits on Medical Inquiries May Include Tests for Legal Drugs

Employer Drug Testing Policies:Legal Drugs are Different

Autumn 2010

Recent Data Shows that Marijuana is Still the Number One Drug of Abuse

According to data recently released by the Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp), marijuana is still the drug most often detected by employment drug tests.

Summer 2010

DOT Adopts New Drug & Alcohol Testing Rules – Do You Need to Update Your Drug Testing Program?

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) final rule amending certain drug testing procedures goes into effect October 1, and regulated employers are moving to update their written testing plans and practices to reflect the changes.

Spring 2010

A Case Study in How Not to Terminate an Employee Who Failed a Drug Test

Sometimes a court decision can be instructive not because of the law it promulgates, but because of the object lesson it provides. Such a case is the Matter of Michael Brown, an unpublished decision recently decided by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division.

Winter 2010

Cocaine and Amphetamine Use Continue Decline; Test Methods Evolve

A new “Drug Testing Index Special Report” issued by laboratory giant Quest Diagnostics suggests that the abuse of illegal amphetamines and cocaine have continued to decline among United States workers, although it appears that urine drug tests fail to detect a fair number of those who abuse these drugs.