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Cannabis in the Workplace: Workers' Comp and Employee Use

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 60 minutes
Recorded Date: November 19, 2019
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  • Legal Issues of Marijuana in the Workplace
  • Usage Dangers
  • Medical Aspects of Marijuana
  • Cannabis: Current State of Law
  • Are Your Employees Confused?
  • Drug Policy
  • Factors Influencing Job Performance
  • Legal Issues for Employers
  • Medicinal Value
  • Regulation of Content
  • Q & A
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: November 19, 2019


Cannabis is recommended (it cannot be prescribed) for a number of health-related issues. For insurers paying workers’ compensation claims, the question becomes – is cannabis a covered treatment? If so, for how long? Details about its use, efficacy and risks are relatively unknown due to the lack of scientific information available. It has also not be recognized by the FDA as a prescribed medication.

What are the physical and legal risks to employees who use medical marijuana? How do employer zero-tolerance policies affect medical use by employees? How can an employer tell if an employee is impaired and what are the workplace risks?

This seminar will look at a number of issues related to the use of medical marijuana for workers’ comp injuries, considerations and coverage questions for insurers, provide answers for employers on applying drug policies and look at other risks for employees, employers and insurers in the workplace.

This program was recorded on November 19th, 2019.

Provided By

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Alexander Malyshev

Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP

Alex is co-chair of Carter Ledyard’s Cannabis, Hemp & CBD Industry Group, advising businesses, investors, and other stakeholders in the quickly evolving state-legal cannabis and federally legal hemp (and CBD) industries on how to deal with the unique challenges the industry poses in a practical manner.

Alex also maintains an active litigation and counseling practice, primarily focused on the financial services industry. Alex has more than a decade of experience representing financial institutions, corporate trustees, and individuals on a variety of contract, fraud and business tort cases related to investments in various complex instruments, like Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs) and Trust Preferred Securities (TruPS). The notional values of these investments have, collectively, exceeded $3 billion. He also regularly counsels industry employers and employees in connection with restrictive covenants and unfair competition claims.

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Teresa Bartlett, M.D.

Senior Medical Officer

Dr. Teresa Bartlett is a senior vice president and medical director with Sedgwick and began her business career by joining a large automotive manufacturer. She spent 20 years managing large, self-insured, multi-state workers’ compensation programs as well as the WSIB Canadian program. This involved PPO and IME network development and management, and claim and litigation management. The short-term disability (STD) program that Dr. Bartlett managed was union-negotiated. She developed an evidence-based medical substantiation process that saved millions of dollars and reversed the escalating STD trend. The long-term disability program was ERISA-based and was also supported by the evidence-based medical substantiation process. In conjunction with these programs, Dr. Bartlett developed a benchmark fraud detection system that included both provider and employee fraud for both the U.S. and Canada.

The scope of her expertise spans more than just occupational and non-occupational claim programs; Dr. Bartlett managed the occupational physicians within 32 manufacturing facilities. This involved a detailed understanding of safety and OSHA programs and required leadership to secure the necessary manufacturing support for the sophisticated return and retain-at-work process. This team won the Corporate Health Achievement Award from ACOEM in 2005 for the Development and Implementation of a Best Practice Clinical Model.

Her most recent role before joining the Sedgwick team was planning, strategy and operations of healthcare benefits. This involved responsibility for developing a care management strategy. This strategy encompassed the total spectrum of care from healthy through catastrophic, including mental health substance abuse and end-of-life hospice care.

The span of her experience includes hospital bill audits, case management, disease management, focused disease management, quality initiatives, patient safety, review of new medical procedures and technology and medical utilization data analysis. During her career, she has had the opportunity to manage and mold wellness and fitness programs that evolved into award-winning programs that were integrated into the benefit and claim structure.

Dr. Bartlett was the recipient of the Crain’s Detroit Business 2008 Health Care Hero Award for bringing an innovative program to address back pain in the workplace.

Dr. Bartlett was instrumental in developing a large-scale medical emergency response. The team she led was responsible for developing and maintaining a medical preparedness plan using the possible avian flu pandemic as the demonstration model. This required coordination with government agencies and national hospital systems to assess response and readiness should a qualified event occur. This resulted in Dr. Bartlett being featured on NBC local news to educate and promote medical preparedness.

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