Supporters and opponents of a ballot measure to legalize marijuana in California are dueling over the law's possible effects on employers and the workplace.
The California Chamber of Commerce claimed in a legal analysis released Thursday that Proposition 19 would lead to more workplace accidents by forcing employers to let workers smoke pot on the job.
The analysis also contends the law would make California companies ineligible for federal contracts because employers could not guarantee a drug-free workplace.
The proposition's supporters dispute the chamber's findings. They point to the state Legislative Analyst's Office's determination that employers would "retain existing rights to address consumption of marijuana that impairs an employee's job performance."
Mainly at issue is a section of the proposition that says no one can "be denied any right or privilege" because they engaged in legal conduct permitted by the act, such as smoking pot.
The section continues: "The existing right of an employer to address consumption that actually impairs job performance by an employee shall not be affected."
The chamber claims the proposition would create a new, ill-defined standard of "actual impairment" that would prevent employers from disciplining workers simply for consuming marijuana. Instead, according to the chamber's analysis, employers would have to prove that pot impaired an employee's job performance.
"For example, if a forklift driver showed up reeking of marijuana smoke, an employer could not take disciplinary action until it could be proven that the employee's job performance was 'actually impaired' by the marijuana use (for example, after an accident occurred)," the chamber wrote.
READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE: "Proposition 19: California Chamber Of Commerce Argues Pot Law Would Allow Smoking At Work" HuffingtonPost.com