Marijuana stays a Schedule I drug underneath the federal Controlled Substances Act. However, increasingly states and localities are both enacting marijuana legal guidelines with categorical employment protections or resolving courtroom instances in favor of marijuana customers. Yet, greater than a decade in the past, the California Supreme Court held in Ross v. RagingWire Telecomm., Inc., that employers have the precise to reject an applicant who exams constructive for medical marijuana. Since that point, whereas California employers have loved some consolation within the capacity to implement their office substance abuse insurance policies, lawmakers have been making efforts to amend state legislation to offer extra protections to marijuana customers.

To begin, in February 2018, a California meeting member launched AB 2069 (“Medical Cannabis Worker Protections Act”), a invoice that might have amended the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to require most employers to interact in an interactive course of with and take into account affordable lodging for medical marijuana customers. Two years later, AB 2355 was launched, which might have amended the FEHA to offer categorical employment protections to medical marijuana customers. Both payments did not advance previous committees. However, we by no means anticipated this to be the top of the saga in California.

On February 19, 2021, Assembly Member Quirk (D) launched AB 1256. If handed, the legislation would prohibit an employer from discriminating in opposition to an individual in hiring, termination, or any time period or situation of employment as a result of a urine drug check revealed the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) of their system. The invoice would exempt employers required to conduct testing for THC in accordance with federal legal guidelines or laws or employers that might lose a financial or licensing-related profit for failing to conduct testing for THC. The invoice additionally would exempt employment within the constructing and development trades.

If enacted, employers with staff in different sorts of security delicate roles, together with these working in healthcare or in non-regulated driving positions, might need to contemplate modifications to their drug testing packages, together with counting on different specimens in lieu of urine. Indeed, Dale Gieringer, director of California NORML, has reportedly stated that “the proposal is not intended to prevent employers from using something like a blood test to see if an employee has THC in their system, a sign of recent use of cannabis.” Gieringer additionally predicts the textual content of the invoice will change as different teams weigh in. The Blunt Truth will present updates about this pending invoice as they change into obtainable.


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