Dear Herb: Can I Ask Prospective Employees About Their Cannabis Use?

Article by The Leaf News

Dear Herb: Can I ask prospective employees about their cannabis use? The federal Cannabis Act doesn't directly affect hiring practices in Canada, but legalization could inspire employers to ask more questions Herb answers your questions about legal consumption and growing, the law, etiquette — you name it, he'll look into it.

Dear Herb: I hire employees for my businesses. After the law is changed, what kind of questions am I allowed to ask in a job interview regarding the candidate’s usage of medical and recreational cannabis? — Harvey the Hiring Manager

Dear Harvey: Thanks for writing in. I imagine some other Canadian business owners are also wondering whether cannabis legalization will change their hiring practices, so let’s get to it.

To help answer your question, I called up a human resources expert who specializes in cannabis-related issues: Alison McMahon, CEO and founder of the HR consultancy and recruitment firm Cannabis at Work.

First and foremost, nothing in the federal Cannabis Act will directly affect hiring practices in Canada as far as the law is concerned, McMahon said. Medical cannabis is already legal in Canada, she pointed out, so hiring managers, such as yourself, are already dealing with prospective employees’ use of the drug for therapeutic purposes.

“People who have a medical authorization for cannabis typically are falling under a human rights protected ground of either physical or mental disability,” she said.

“And so typically, employers do not ask questions in the interview process that would infringe upon a protected ground because if you’re basing a hiring decision on a protected ground, then that could be discriminatory.”

Read the full article here.

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