Q: As an employer, am I legally required to allow employees to bring marijuana to an office holiday party?
A: No. While adult recreational use of marijuana is now legal in 21 states and the District of Columbia, the use of marijuana remains illegal under federal law and employers with drug-free and smoke-free workplace policies can prohibit marijuana consumption in the workplace and during employer-sponsored events. Employers who wish to prohibit use of recreational marijuana at the office holiday party should remind employees of the policies and ensure that they understand the policies apply at all employer-sponsored events – even if the event is held after work hours and off company premises.
Laws surrounding the recreational use of marijuana differ from one state to another and evolve quickly. Before taking adverse action against an employee for marijuana use, an employer should consult the specific laws governing their jurisdiction.