September 2022: California Governor Signs Marijuana Protection Bill into Law

27 Sep


Update Applicable to:
All employers in the state of California.

What happened?
In our previous communication, we notified you that Assembly Bill 2188 (AB 2188) was sent to Governor Newsom and is awaiting signature. This is an update to that communication.

What are the details?
On September 18, 2022, Governor Newsom signed AB 2188 into law, which makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a person in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment based upon:

  1. A person’s use of cannabis off the job and away from the workplace, except for pre-employment drug screenings; or
  2. An employer-required drug screening test found the person has non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites in their hair, blood, urine, or bodily fluids.

An employer can still refuse to hire an applicant based on a scientifically valid pre-employment drug screening conducted through methods that do not screen for non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites.

The bill does not permit an employee to possess, be impaired, or use cannabis on the job, nor does it affect the rights or obligations of an employer to maintain a drug- and alcohol-free workplace. The bill does not pre-empt state or federal laws requiring applicants or employees to be tested for controlled substances as a condition of employment, receiving federal funding or federal licensing-related benefits, or entering into a federal contract.

The bill also exempts certain applicants and employees from the provisions, including employees in the building and construction trades and applicants and employees in positions requiring a federal background investigation or clearance.

AB 2188 takes effect on January 1, 2024.

For more information, please see the links below:

Assembly Bill 2188 (AB 2188)

Previous Vensure Article (9/14/2022)

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What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and adjust their drug testing policies to comply with the law.

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