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Discrimination Protections Pending for Cannabis Users  

AB 2188, pending in the California Assembly, seeks to prohibit employers, other than those in building and construction trades, from discriminating against workers for:

  • off-the-job cannabis use; and
  • non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites found in hair, urine, or other bodily fluids in employer-mandated drug tests.

The proposed law does not protect employees stoned on-the-job, thus largely preserving an employer’s right to maintain a drug-free workplace, including by testing required under federal law (e.g., in the transportation industry).  However, a long-list of business groups, including the California Chamber of Commerce, oppose the measure for limiting available screening tools and effectively barring pre-employment screening.

While the Labor and Employment Committee cut the bill back substantially earlier this month, it continues its way through the legislature.

Take-Aways:  Stay tuned.  For now, using traditional drug testing methods at legally-permitted times, employers can continue to decline employment to marijuana-using applicants and to exclude drug-impaired workers from the workplace.  Constituents may of course make their AB 2188 concerns known to their legislators.

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

See also:

Helena Kobrin
April 22, 2022

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