(Helen H. Richardson, Denver Post file)

Maine Dept of Labor says employers may be unable to fire for marijuana use

Backers of the marijuana referendum said the law that goes into effect in February would leave employer protections in place

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Department of Labor says the majority of businesses won’t be able to fire an employee for a marijuana-positive drug tests unless they can prove impairment on the job.

Backers of the marijuana referendum said the law that goes into effect in February would leave employer protections in place and allow them to maintain drug-free workplace policies.

The Portland Press Herald reports Julie Rabinowitz from the Maine Department of Labor painted a very different picture on Monday, when she urged state lawmakers to change the law to give employers more rights.

The Legislature’s labor committee is expected to take up the matter.

Voters in November legalized the recreational use and sale of marijuana products but commercial sales are on hold as regulations are considered.

(This article has been corrected by the Associated Press to show that the state is advising employers of changes under new marijuana law, not telling them to hold off on drug testing.)