D.C. Council Passes Bill Protecting Marijuana Users

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer June 15, 2022
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​Private-sector employers in Washington, D.C., will not be allowed to fire workers or refuse to hire applicants who test positive for marijuana usewith some exceptionsunder a law passed by the D.C. Council on June 7.

Recreational marijuana use has been legal in the city since 2015, and council members said they believe no worker should be fired for using a legal substance. Marijuana is still considered illegal under federal law.

The bill has been sent to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser for approval. If she signs it, it will become law after a 60-day congressional review.

We've rounded up resources and articles from SHRM Online and other trusted outlets on the news.

Exceptions

The new law makes exceptions for workers in safety-sensitive jobs, including operators of heavy machinery, construction workers, police and security guards, and medical professionals.

It also will not apply to federal workers nor to employees caught using or possessing marijuana on the job.

(The Washington Post)

State Law Trends

Growing acceptance of marijuana use in recent years has led to the proliferation of state laws legalizing medical and recreational cannabis consumption, as well as a push for employment protections for off-duty use. Here's what employers need to know about evolving marijuana laws and their impact on the workplace.

(SHRM Online)

More Workers Are Testing Positive for Marijuana

The percentage of U.S. workers who test positive for marijuana continues to climb higher as more states legalize the drug for medical and recreational use.

(SHRM Online)

What Are Safety-Sensitive Jobs?

As employers grapple with evolving marijuana laws and their impact on the workplace, they should note that many states that provide employment protections for cannabis users have exceptions for workers in safety-sensitive roles. But what exactly is a safety-sensitive job?

(SHRM Online)

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