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Washington Protects Off-Duty Marijuana Use in 2024

11 Jul

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Update applicable to:

All employers in Washington

What happened?

Governor Inslee of Washington signed Senate Bill No. 5123 into law, providing workplace protections to workers for their lawful, off-duty use of marijuana.

What are the details?

The law prohibits employers from discriminating against prospective employees based on their off-duty marijuana use and prevents the use of drug tests that screen for non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites in hiring decisions.

The law does not protect all marijuana use and does not prevent employers from establishing drug-free workplace policies.

The law goes into effect on January 1, 2024.

Exceptions to the law include testing for purposes other than pre-employment, scientifically valid testing that does not screen for non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites, and positions requiring federal government background investigations, work with public safety agencies, corrections officers, airline or aerospace industries, or other safety-sensitive positions.

For more information, please see the links below:

Official Bill Page

Senate Bill No. 5123

Article 1, Article 2, Article 3

What do employers need to do?

Washington employers should review their drug testing practices, identify positions that fit within the exceptions, or adjust testing methods to focus on psychoactive THC. They should also update drug and alcohol testing policies and hiring materials to comply with the new law.

Need help understanding how changes to employment laws will affect your business?

Learn more about how Vensure's Washington PEO services can help you navigate complex employment laws and keep your business compliant.


This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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