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New Cannabis Testing Laws for California Employees

New Cannabis Testing Laws for California EmployeesAs of January 1, 2024, two new California laws, Assembly Bill 2188 (AB 2188)[1] and Senate Bill 700 (SB 700)[2], have significantly shifted the landscape of cannabis testing for employees. Here’s what you need to know.

Protection from Off-the-Clock Cannabis Use:

  • No Discrimination Based on Non-Psychoactive Metabolites: Employers are prohibited from discriminating against you based on a drug test that detects only non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites. Non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites are chemical compounds that remain in your body after the psychoactive effects of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) wear off. While THC delivers the characteristic “high” associated with cannabis, these metabolites don’t have any mind-altering effects. They are essentially breakdown products of THC, created by your body as it processes the substance. These metabolites linger in your system long after the psychoactive effects of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) have worn off, essentially acting as a marker of past, not current, use.[3]
  • Pre-Employment Questions Restricted: Employers can no longer inquire about your past cannabis use during the interview process. Your personal cannabis consumption outside of work hours is no longer relevant to your job qualifications.

Exceptions and Important Points:

  • Impairment Still Prohibited: Employers can still test for active THC to assess current impairment, and a positive test could be grounds for disciplinary action. This ensures workplace safety remains a top priority.
  • Construction Industry Exempt: SB 700 does not apply to employees in the building and construction trades, who may still be subject to stricter drug testing policies due to safety regulations.
  • Federal Requirements Supersede: If your job requires mandatory federal drug testing under the Department of Transportation, for example, these new state laws may not apply.

What does this mean for you?

If you live and work in California, these new laws offer protections for your privacy and livelihood. You may now be able to legally enjoy cannabis on your own time without fear of employer discrimination based on non-psychoactive metabolites. At Matern Law Group, we stand ready to fight for your rights if you encounter any illegal discrimination or unfair treatment related to cannabis testing.

Navigating the complexities of employment law can be challenging. If you have questions about your rights under the new cannabis testing laws, do not hesitate to contact Matern Law Group. We are here to ensure your voice is heard and your rights are protected.

Sources:

[1] https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220AB2188

[2] https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=202320240SB700

[3] https://www.cbsnews.com/sanfrancisco/news/new-2024-laws-protect-california-workers-cannabis-off-job/#:~:text=Assembly%20Bill%202188%20is%20an,urine%2C%20hair%20or%20bodily%20fluids

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