Monday, February 1, 2016

Does Texas Have a Medical Marijuana Law?

Yes.  Effective May 7, 2015, the Texas Legislature enacted the Texas Compassionate-Use Act (TCUA), which amends various provisions of the Texas Health and Safety and Occupations Codes.  The TCUA is one of the most restrictive medical marijuana statutes in the country because it only permits the use of low-THC cannabis, which is defined by the statute, by patients diagnosed with "intractable epilepsy."  Put another way, intractable epilepsy is the only medical condition for which low-THC cannabis may be legally used.

The TCUA also includes provisions:

  • regulating the licensing of dispensing organizations and the registration of employees who work for dispensing organizations;
  • decriminalizing the cultivation, production, dispensing, or possession of low-THC cannabis as provided by the TCUA; 
  • requiring the registration of low-THC cannabis prescribers; and
  • requiring a patient treatment plan.
Noticeably absent from the text of the TCUA is a provision that provides or restricts job protection for legal users, which means that the issue is unsettled.

What Employers Need to Know About the EEOC's Proposed Revisions to the EEO-1 Report

It's been a busy thirty-two days of 2016 for the federal government.  Today the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published its proposed revisions to the Employer Information Report (EEO-1) in the Federal Register for a sixty day comment period.  Proposed EEO-1 Revisions.  According to the EEOC's recent press release, the new data will "assist the agency in identifying possible pay discrimination."

The EEO-1 currently requires covered employers to report annually the number of individuals they employ by job category and by race, ethnicity, and sex.

The proposed revisions would, beginning in September 2017, require covered employers to include in the new EEO-1:

  • aggregate pay data using "pay bands"; and
  • the total number of hours worked by the employees included in each pay band.
If enacted, the proposed revisions could significantly impact employers by increasing the administrative filing burden, potentially exposing companies to disparate pay lawsuits, and compromising the confidentiality of competitive salaries.