BANNING WEED IN THE WORKPLACE « Law Offices of Timothy Bowles | Top Employment Law Firm in Los Angeles


California Employers May Maintain Drug-Free and Alcohol-Free Policies

Effective January 1, 2018, California’s “Adult Use of Marijuana Act” (AUMA) (California Health and Safety Code [HSC] sections 11357-11362.9) permits adults 21 years of age or older to possess and use marijuana for recreational purposes.

Fortunately, AUMA does not alter the rights of California employers to maintain a drug- and alcohol-free workplace, nor does it require an employer to permit or accommodate the use of marijuana in the workplace. [HSC section 11362.45(f)]

Additionally, both medicinal and recreational marijuana remain a Schedule 1 controlled substance under federal law. Studies have shown that marijuana stores for weeks or longer in the body and consequently can have longer-term effects on a person’s perceptions and behavior. Thus, employers may refuse to hire applicants and may terminate existing employees who test positive for marijuana.

Employers should have a drug-free workplace policy that specifically bans the use, purchase/sale, control, distribution, possession of, impairment by, or being under or arriving to work under the influence of recreational and medicinal marijuana, clearly states the circumstances in which the company will require drug testing (including testing for marijuana), and includes disciplinary actions that will be taken for violations of the policy.

For further information, please contact Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

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Tim Bowles

Cindy Bamforth

January 19, 2018