Governor Gavin Newson recently approved a new law that will go into effect on January 1, 2024. If you are an employer in California, here’s everything you should know about this new bill.
This new bill aims to protect workers from employer discrimination regarding the off-work use of cannabis. Employers are still allowed to fire or suspend workers for possession or usage of cannabis while on the job. This includes being impaired during work hours. However, employers will no longer be able to base their hiring or termination decisions based on the employee’s personal drug use off work.
It is important to note that the bill excludes certain industries and occupations such as employees that require a federal background investigation, the construction industry or anyone that is required by law to undergo regular drug testing as part of their employment terms.
Keep in mind that the law prohibits employers from drug testing for non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites such as cannabidiol (CBD) and states that employers can still drug test for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as it is the component in cannabis that is responsible for impairment.
This bill does not affect an employer’s rights or obligations under California law to maintain a drug- and alcohol-free workplace. It is imperative that employers review their drug testing policies to make sure they remain compliant with the law.
Employers will without a doubt have to make adjustments to their testing policies, and even train employees to recognize the signs of cannabis intoxication.
It is important to remain up to date and informed on new legislations to ensure the protection and safety of your workers.
Outlook HR can help with reviewing your drug testing policies and actively take measures to protect your workplace from illicit substances while staying compliant locally and federally.
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