Legal weed among new laws at odds with company policies

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Smoke pot on the weekend? You're okay in Michigan.

But just because its legal on your own property doesn't mean it isn't leading to new tensions in the workplace. 

What may ignite the issue is when you smoked. Where alcohol leaves your system relative soon after drinking it, marijuana stays in your body longer after smoking it. 

"Most employers don't care if someone wants to do this on the weekend. That's not the issue," said Terry Bonnette, an attorney at Nemeth Law. "But if somebody looks suspicious at work or behaving bizarrely at work, if we test them for alcohol let's say, that test will tell us if they're currently inebriated as opposed to something that happened last weekend."

And that's going to be hard to prove for employers.

"And Michigan is an at will employment state," said Bonnette. 

So if you are an at will employee and your employer decides they want to enforce those zero tolerance policies, it doesn't matter when you did it.  What matters is that there was a positive test result. 

And that's not the only new employment law ringing in the new year. The next time you go through the drive through, know that the pay for fast food workers and other employees on minimum wage just went up. But only by a little.  

The law of the land in Michigan has Minimum wage increasing starting this month. Twenty cents to start with.  Every year it goes up another 20 to 25 cents.  The goal is to reach $12.05 by 2030. 

Even though that cap may not be enough by many workers' standards, it's a step in the right direction. Not so much in the case for hourly tipped workers, who won't see the same wage increases.

Tipped workers hoped their minimum wage would increase at a higher rate than other workers so that at the end, they would have the same minimum wage. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. 

And finally, the me too movement has started to see a buildup of cases. Courage and awareness has more people going to the front offices and making complaints.  

"We are seeing many more internal complaints and we are seeing employers being much more proactive in investigating those complaints," said Bonnette.