(California) A new California marijuana law will protect employees who use marijuana during their off-duty time. Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 2188 (AB-2188) into law in September, which outlines how employers can test employees or potential employees for cannabis.
This California marijuana employment law only applies to cannabis only and not to other drugs.
Employment attorney Angela Reddock-Wright explains that AB-2188 “prevents employers from firing or terminating or disciplining anyone if, in a drug test, they find that the employee has what we call ‘non-psychoactive’ traces of marijuana or THC in their blood system or in their urine system.”
However, employers can still do “pre-testing” for marijuana and other drugs.
During employment, drug testing can be conducted if the employer feels the employee is impaired in doing their job due to marijuana or other drug use. Even in this case, finding THC traces in the system is not enough to take action. It must be at a level that actually impairs the employee’s ability to do their job.
Medical and recreational marijuana use is now protected in the workplace. Employers can still prohibit marijuana and other drug substances in the workplace and prohibit their use while an employee is at work.
However, they cannot control what employees do outside of work unless it affects their ability to do their job. Employers can declare that they prefer a drug-free working environment, but they cannot take action against employees for using marijuana outside of work.
The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2024.
As an employee, it’s essential to know your rights when it comes to marijuana and employment discrimination laws in California. If you have any concerns or questions, it’s always best to speak with a knowledgeable labor law advocate who can help you navigate your situation.
Contact Labor Law Advocates today to learn more about your rights as an employee under California’s AB-2188 law. Our legal team is here to provide you with the information and guidance you need to protect yourself and your job. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today.