Employers in Colorado and Washington Wrestle with Marijuana Policies

Employers in Colorado and Washington state, where recreational marijuana is now legal for adults, are wrestling with whether and how to adjust their drug policies to account for the new laws.

Legal questions facing employers include whether they can still fire workers who test positive for marijuana during a random drug test. Other questions include whether some types of workers, such as teachers, public transit drivers and police officers, can be held to a stricter standard than other workers, and how much discretion employers will have over what to do about employees who smoke marijuana while they are not at work.

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law.

“Employers big and small across the state are really struggling with these questions,” Danielle Durban, a Denver-based employment attorney at Fisher & Phillips LLP, told The Christian Science Monitor. “They have to come up with testing protocols that don’t alienate their own employees but cover themselves from liability, as well. Most are wishing legislators had given them more direction.”

Full story of employers and marijuana policies at DrugFree.org

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

No thanks, Obamacare. I’ll pay the penalty

These are some of the reasons why CNNMoney readers say they’ll opt to pay a penalty for not having health insurance in 2014, rather than sign up for a policy in the state-based exchanges or through their companies.

“I would love to have insurance, but we just don’t have the money,” said Sandra Czop, 58, of Bloomingdale, Ill. “We need that $100 to put food on the table. We have no money to put gas in the car.”

Czop, a mortgage loan officer whose business is down 60% and whose husband is unemployed, summed up the sentiments of many readers. Though subsidies are available to those earning less than 400% of the poverty level, the premiums are still too high for many Americans.

For 2014, the penalty is either $95 per adult or 1% of family income, whichever results in a larger fine. (Income is defined as total income above the filing threshold, which is $10,000 for an individual and $20,000 for a family in 2013.) That’s still a lot less than premiums, which are generally $200 to $300 a month on average for a silver plan.

So a person making $50,000 would not be eligible for a subsidy and would pay full price — typically around $2,400 to $3,600 a year in premiums — for a plan. If he declined to get insurance, he would only be subject to a $400 penalty for the year.

Full story of Obamacare’s penalty at CNN Money

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education