Boss Offered Employees Pot and Then Hit Them With a Drug Test Days Later
You go on a work trip with your company, paid for by your boss. It's a thank-you gesture for all your hard work. You have fun skiing and hanging out all week, and then one night, your boss presents you all with pot brownies. He eats some, and most other people partake. After all, you're on vacation!
There shouldn't be anything wrong with that. It's legal in the state, your boss literally gave them to you and ate some himself. There's no reason to believe you were doing anything wrong, right? So you'd be extremely shocked if, on the Monday you got back to work, you were hit with a random drug test out of nowhere, knowing full well your boss is aware that you ingested marijuana just days ago, right? Right.
This story was posted in the Legal Advice subreddit because this person has no idea what to do in this bonkers situation. They explain that their boss took them and nine other employees to Colorado for a skiing trip. They explain, "It is not unusual for him to thank us in these 'big ways. (In the past he has given bonuses, gift cards, iPads)."
While they were in Colorado hanging out together, the boss brought out some "special brownies." "We all decided to eat / try them as we are all close and pretty much all friends and it's legal in Colorado," they write.
One person didn't partake "for personal reasons," but otherwise, everyone participated — the boss included. OP thought they had a great time in Colorado hanging out and skiing for the week. But everything changed when they got back to their office in Dallas the next Monday.
"When we opened up all 10 of us were met with a random drug test which was odd because our boss just last week indulged with us in eating marijuana brownies." Because nine of them had marijuana in their system (which the boss fully facilitated!!!), they fail the drug test.
One consequence for failing the drug test was that their 401k agreements were "terminated per the stealing / drug / drunk clause." The company used to double-match all employees' retirement contributions, but they recently changed the policy. Until they failed drug test, these senior employees were grandfathered into this generous policy.
The only person who retained hers is the woman who didn't eat the pot brownies with the rest of them. Though nobody got fired, their benefits were reduced by a lot because their boss offered them pot, did it with them, and then made them take a drug test knowing they would fail. I know I'm repeating myself, but it's just so bonkers.
OP got some varying advice in the comments. "Unfortunately, it is legal for him to remove benefits due to the failed drug tests, even though you consumed the THC legally. However, it is INSANELY messed up that your boss is the one who suggested edibles. I’d contact a lawyer to see what can be done about it. Especially since you’re unsure if he faced any consequences, or if he was even tested."
Commenters suggest OP get a lawyer and write down every single thing they can remember about the trip: "how it was pitched to you to do (reward) and then how you got there, what you did, and then EVERY single detail from the night you took the brownies — who else took them, who saw what, who said what at any point ... Write down everything you can remember about the interactions with your boss and your colleagues — no detail is too small."
Even better if everyone else who was on the trip does the same thing. Then, collect every document related to the contract for the 401k, the drug testing rules, etc. and present everything to a lawyer. It really seems like this boss knowingly tricked his employees so he could screw them out of benefits.
This becomes even more suspicious when OP wrote in the comments, "We are senior employees and I am the youngest of the 10. Our contracts are on a five-year renewal, and as far as I know, we were the last 10 employees who would be able to keep the 'old' contract indefinitely (as long as we stay at the company)."
OH. So that explains it. They were grandfathered into this old, generous policy, so the boss can't just change it willy-nilly unless the employees break the contract. Their boss tricked them to get rid of these contracts! There's no way that's legal.
So nefarious! Straight-up evil! And so not OK. It has to be illegal, right?! Either way, I couldn't imagine continuing to work for this man knowing that he tricked me into taking away my benefits.