Smoked Out: Navigating the Haze Created by Marijuana Legalization

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The legalization of recreational and medicinal marijuana in several states, combined with the illegality of all marijuana use and possession under federal law, has created a host of issues for workplace policies and discipline regarding marijuana use. Further complicating this issue is state and federal disability laws which may protect an employee’s use of medicinal marijuana. Counsel for employers and employees must be aware of the nuanced legal landscape and current developments when enacting and executing workplace policies and when advising employees as to their rights.  This program will explore this developing body of law with a focus on applicable laws, recent court decisions, and best practices.

Educational Objectives:
• Understanding federal and state laws that affect workplace drug policies and an employee’s use of marijuana 
• Why medicinal marijuana implicates protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act and what protections an employee may have under the ADA
• Recent court decisions interpreting employees’ use of marijuana

Who would benefit the most from attending this program?
Employment law practitioners, human resources professionals.


Scott Oswald, Managing Principal, The Employment Law Group, P.C.

Mr. Scott Oswald is an accomplished trial lawyer who has brought nearly fifty trials to verdict. He has recovered more than $90 million in judgments and settlements for his clients. A past president of the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association, Mr. Oswald is honored as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by The National Trial Lawyers; he is a graduate of The Trial Lawyers College.

Mr. Oswald litigates employment and whistleblower actions nationwide. He has broken new ground in whistleblower law:
• First Sarbanes-Oxley Act liability verdict to withstand appeal
• First reported jury verdict under new (2009) anti-retaliation provisions of the False Claims Act
• First Dodd-Frank Act retaliation lawsuit to reach discovery in federal court.

Mr. Oswald is an American Lawyer Media “Top Rated Lawyer,” and is recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America and a Super Lawyer in the category of Employment Litigation. He is rated 10 out of 10 by Avvo. Mr. Oswald received his J.D. from the Howard University School of Law; he holds a B.A. from the University of Virginia. He is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and Florida.

Alyson A. Smith, Associate, Littler Mendelson, P.C.

Alyson A. Smith advises and represents employers in a wide range of employment and labor law matters in federal and state courts, including employment discrimination arising under: 
•Title VII 
•The Americans with Disabilities Act 
•The Age Discrimination in Employment Act 
•The Fair Labor Standards Act 
•The Family and Medical Leave Act

Prior to joining Littler Mendelson, Ms. Smith worked at a national labor and employment law firm where she assisted clients with the drafting of affirmative action plans, represented government contractors in matters relating to the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), prepared for and defended OFCCP audits, and counseled employers on issues stemming from OFCCP regulations. She began her legal career at an international law firm where she practiced in the areas of employment law and general commercial litigation, including defense of class actions and collective actions. During law school, Ms. Smith was an editor for the Denver University Law Review and a law clerk for the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado. Upon graduation, she was admitted to the Order of St. Ives for excellence in academic achievement. During her undergraduate studies at Georgetown University, she was a member of the Division I women's soccer team.