So…Can I Bring My Bong to Work Now?

The post below was originally written for the internal blog of my employer. The advice and guidance provided is meant to be specific to Michigan and to the organization. However, many employers have similar policies and can adopt similar positions as we continue to see legalization efforts spread around the country. Michigan is the 10th state in the country to make recreational marijuana legal.

The short answer is: NO!

While today, December 6, 2018, does bring a significant change to drug laws here in Michigan, this does not make it ok to have, use, or otherwise be under the influence while working. While legal in Michigan for those over 21, marijuana remains an illegal controlled substance under Federal Law and as a recipient of Federal funding, we are subject to the Federal laws dictating a Drug Free Workplace.

The newly enacted state law says, in part,

Isn’t it OUR time, Mr. Hand?!?

“This act does not require an employer to permit or accommodate conduct otherwise allowed by this act in any workplace or on the employer’s property. This act does not prohibit an employer from disciplining an employee for violation of a workplace drug policy or for working while under the influence of marihuana. This act does not prevent an employer from refusing to hire, discharging, disciplining, or otherwise taking an adverse employment action against a person with respect to hire, tenure, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of that person’s violation of a workplace drug policy or because that person was working while under the influence of marihuana.”

The District has several Board policies that deal directly with this issue. One clear example is Policy 3122.01:

“The Board of Education believes that quality education is not possible in an environment affected by drugs. It will seek, therefore, to establish and maintain an educational setting which is not tainted by the use or evidence of use of any controlled substance.

Employees are prohibited from reporting to work under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.

The Board shall not permit the manufacture, possession, use, distribution, or dispensing of any controlled substance, alcohol, and any drug paraphernalia, by any member of the District’s professional staff at any time while on District property or while involved in any District-related activity or event. Any staff member who violates this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with District guidelines and the terms of collective bargaining agreements.”

So the bottom line, nothing has changed when it comes to the workplace and marijuana.


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29 pieces

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Twenty-nine. That is the number of pieces of mail I received from vendors in the lead up to the opening of #SHRM18 in Chicago tomorrow. As someone who has been blessed to attend multiple of these annual extravaganzas of everything … Continue reading

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Screaming at my technology

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This week I have been fighting a regular battle with my HRIS. For those not in the know, HRIS stands for Human Resource Information System. If an uninterested observer were watching this battle unfold, I believe they would unequivocally state … Continue reading

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The lessons from first jobs

All of us had a first job at some point. The question I ask now that some of our careers have gone 10, 20, even 30 years on; what lessons from our first jobs are we carrying with us today? … Continue reading

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Clean vs. Cluttered

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Well, there is no clear consensus on how we like our desks to look. Not a surprising result, yet instructive on how we each look at the world. Despite yesterday being #CleanOffYourDesk Day, I get the distinct impression that is … Continue reading

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Discussions and Debates in 2018!

As 2018 begins, opportunities abound for rich discussions and debates. One thing that amazes me is the number of smart people I know and the diversity of opinions that this group can have on topics ranging from the very serious to the more mundane.

My blogging goal for 2018 is to foster good debate and discussion on topics. Each week, a post putting out a question will go up. In the days that follow, I will invite people to chime in and provide their perspective(s) on the topic so that the next week’s post can include value taken from across the spectrum. The resolution post will include my own perspective on the topic and the next week’s question.

So, 1st up for 2018. January is often a month of organization and clean out. What are your feelings on a messy desk versus a clean one? Reply using either the comment box below or to me via e-mail

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12 years

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Twelve years is a long time to do anything. For the last 12 years I’ve been fortunate to serve as a volunteer leader for the Indiana State Council of SHRM. In that time we’ve accomplished a great many things together. … Continue reading

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Yes, write now!

This is a pivotal week for us. So much to consider, to say, and to do.

I know this hard for many of you, but it’s so important so bear with me for a moment.

If everyone I know would take 10 minutes and write a letter, the difference that can be made is tremendous. There is too much going on right now in this country and in this world to sit and wait while watching it all happen.

Yes, I am referring to you. Take time, write, express your opinion to someone. Even if it doesn’t agree with mine it’s important to be heard.

So often we are afraid of expressing ourselves. Doing so shows vulnerability and that is a state that we humans don’t like. Too bad. As I have stated before, it’s important to become comfortable being uncomfortable. I am here to challenge you again!

Below is the letter I submitted Sunday afternoon to my Congressman, Fred Upton. Now, my representative and I do not agree on some things, do agree on others, and have had one very brief conversation while having lunch (on Election Day 2014) in the same restaurant here in Portage. Whether we agree or not is irrelevant. What matters is that I express my thoughts to my elected representative. There are too many important things happening to leave to chance if someone should think “I wonder what my constituents think?” So my challenge to you is to write now on a subject of importance. Be vocal, visible, and valuable.

January 15, 2017
Dear Representative Upton:
I write to you today as a constituent, an HR professional, and a very concerned citizen.
During the 1st two weeks of this new Congressional term my alarm at the future of this country has never been as strong.
1. The fact that Congressional Republicans made one of their 1st acts a proposal to end the current ethics oversight suggests that the priorities of Republicans is only to preserve themselves and not serve their country. I’m happy this proposal was withdrawn but still concerned that this was the initial thought of our Congressional representatives.
2. While the Affordable Care Act has many flaws and needs a significant overhaul, the complete repeal without having a viable replacement in place will cause incredible destruction to not only some institutions, but to so many families as they face the loss of insurance, the reinstitution of coverage caps and pre-existing condition clauses, and an acceleration of premium costs. I can tell you that premium rate increases, while still high, are going up at a lower rate than they were prior to the passage of the ACA in 2010.
3. Combining the above two items, rules passed by the House prohibiting the Congressional Budget Office from including any costs related to the repeal of the ACA are disingenuous and again appears to demonstrate that lack of ethics is rampant in the Republican caucus.
4. The needs of this country are massive and require solutions that cross party lines. I know you have worked extensively on such issues including championing the recently enacted 21st Century Cures initiative. I hope you will be a voice that seeks solutions on areas of agreement like the need for infrastructure investment, budget stabilization, and securing Social Security and Medicare for the long-term.
I am sending this letter to you directly and also posting it as my weekly blog post in a couple of days. This is no longer the time to be silent and while I consider myself a political junkie, my activism to date has been limited. I had the opportunity to visit your office in November to discuss the changes in the Fair Labor Standards Act and I have written a couple of time previously. This pivotal time is the start of not only my own business, but also an increase in my willingness to engage politically.
Bradley D. Galin, MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
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Bright and Lively

Welcome to Allegro HR

Welcome to 2017!

The beginning of 2017 is a start for something new in my life. It marks the official launch of my new HR consulting firm, Allegro HR.

During the last quarter of 2016, there was work put into the planning, launch, and building of this new business and now that 2017 has arrived, the curtains are being pulled back and the official start is underway.

As anyone starting their own venture has experienced, there are so many questions that remain unanswered.  However, I move forward with confidence and an incredible network of people supporting my efforts!

Allegro is poised to focus on organizational development, executive coaching, recruitment and selection, as well as speaking and presenting. My website is active at and I anticipate starting a monthly podcast within the next couple of months too!

I would like to take this moment to thank the many people who have provided guidance to me. So many of my consulting friends have willingly shared advice with me and have been so supportive as I have moved forward with this venture. Thank you all for your brilliance, your time, and the sharing of so many of your hopes and dreams.

Remember, the term allegro in music means bright and lively. It is my belief that HR can be bright and lively as well!

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Comfortable being Uncomfortable

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A theme that was highlighted during this year’s SHRM Volunteer Leader Summitwas “being comfortable being uncomfortable.” Three different speakers I heard (including two of the keynote presentations) used the phrase and emphasized the concept. It’s a phrase being used more … Continue reading

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