For the protection of our customers and our team members, BelRed Energy Solutions has always been drug free. Earlier this month, Washington voters approved Initiative 502 (“I-502”), which decriminalizes certain cultivation, sale, possession and use of marijuana. While it has an impact on the recreational use of the drug, it has less of an impact on our (and other Washington employers’) drug policies than one may assume. Initiative 502 does not change in any way our right to refuse employment or to fire someone who tests positive for marijuana.

In fact, a state Supreme Court ruling last year said that even Washington’s existing medical marijuana law doesn’t prevent an employer from firing an employee for a positive drug test. Regardless of the state vote and ruling this November, marijuana use is still a violation of federal law, which provides employers legal validation for termination of an employee.

Aside from legal implications, the ethical and professional responsibilities of employees in a service industry such as ours are at the forefront of our minds regarding this issue. While working to serve our customers, our staff is logging hundreds of thousands of miles on the road every year. They are also constantly carrying out precise installation, repair and maintenance work on critical appliances and equipment such as gas and electric hot water heaters, heat pumps and furnaces. If that work is not done correctly the consequences can be serious and could potentially lead to injury, property damage or even loss of life.

While alcohol is legal for those over 21 years of age, their ability to carry out work functions would be greatly hindered under its influence. The same can be said for marijuana use.

Here at BelRed, our employees are trusted to be in people’s homes every day, and we all work extremely hard to earn that trust. We do pre-hire and random drug screening to help ensure employees are not impaired while in company vehicles, or in customers homes. Regardless of changes in the law, our zero-tolerance policy for drug use will not change – we value the trust our customers place in us too much.

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