Written By Digital Content Editor Thomas Ahearn
On August 30, 2022, the California State Legislature approved Assembly Bill 2188 (AB 2188) which would make it unlawful for employers to discriminate against workers based upon their use of marijuana outside of the workplace. If signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom, the bill would take effect on January 1, 2024.
Introduced by Assembly Member Bill Quirk (D-Hayward), AB 2188 would prohibit employers from punishing workers who fail certain drug tests – which typically analyze urine samples – that detect only inactive cannabis compounds called metabolites that follow marijuana use from days and even weeks prior to the drug test.
Instead, AB 2188 would have employers administer drug tests that use saliva to check for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the main psychoactive compound in marijuana and would indicate whether an employee is currently under the influence of marijuana. Employees could be fired for failing these tests.
The bill would exempt applicants and employees in the building and construction trades, and in positions requiring a federal background investigation or clearance. The bill does not preempt state or federal laws requiring applicants or employees to be drug tested for controlled substances as a condition of employment.
According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), six states – Nevada, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Montana, and Rhode Island – have laws that protect the use of recreational marijuana by workers and 21 states have laws protecting workers who use medical marijuana.
Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is a service offering of ClearStar, a leading Human Resources technology company specializing in background, drug, clinical, and occupational health testing. ClearStar offers drug and clinical testing that is fully integrated with major laboratories. For more information, contact ClearStar.
On September 21, 2022, ClearStar will sponsor a free webinar titled “Continuing the Discussion: A Deep Dive Into 5 More States’ Drug Testing Laws” hosted by Bill Current, President and Founding Partner of the Current Consulting Group, LLC (CCG), and CCG’s Senior Legal Consultant Yvette Farnsworth Baker, Esq.
Earlier in 2022, ClearStar and CCG presented a free webinar that looked into workplace drug testing in the five most populated states: California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Pennsylvania. The second free webinar features the next five most populated states: Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, and Georgia.
This mixture of states featured in the webinar is especially interesting because it includes four states with legal marijuana laws that affect workplace drug testing, two states with voluntary drug testing laws, and one state with an industry-specific drug testing law. To register for the free webinar, click here.
Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a service offering of ClearStar – does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.
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