California employers could be banned from screening for marijuana when it comes to hiring or firing their employees.
On Tuesday, August 30, 2022, state lawmakers sent Assembly Bill 2188 to Governor Gavin Newsom.
Newsom has until the end of September to sign.
Will he do it?
If Newsom Signs
If Newsom signs it into law, this would go into effect Jan. 1, 2024.
Assembly Bill 2188 was written by Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward. The bill would make it unlawful for employers to discriminate in hiring, firing or setting conditions of employment based on cannabis use clocked out and away from the workplace.
However, there are certain exemptions for employees in building/construction trades as well as those who are applicants/emloyees whom require federal background investigations or clearance.
AB 2188 will ban the testing of hair, blood, urine and/or other bodily fluids. In a recent statement, Quirk stated, “When most employers conduct a drug test, they typically screen for the presence of nonpsychoactive cannabis metabolites, which can remain present in an individual’s bodily fluids for weeks after cannabis use and do not indicate impairment. While there is consensus that no one should ever show up to work high or impaired, testing positive for this metabolite has no correlation to workplace safety or productivity” ( Sacramento Bee).
The bill will bans those type of tests while also maintaining the employers’ rights to test for THC. “Testing for THC may indicate an individual is impaired at work and is a better way to maintain work place safety,” Quirk said ( Sacramento Bee).
29 Days to Go
If I am understanding this right you cannot loose your job for smoking weed outside of work, but you can be tested to see if impaired while at work.
“The bill expands upon a 2021 State Personnel Board decision which found a positive urine test for marijuana is not, in itself, grounds for dismissal from state employment. That decision was prompted after a CalTrans employee appealed his firing after testing positive for THC upon his return from a leave of absence” (Sacramento Bee).
Looks like we will see what Gov. Newsom decides to do within the next 29 days.
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