New California law protects employee’s right to legal pot use

Close up shot of real cannabis or weed with cannabis oil in cartridge of vape pen in the background, roller blurred in foreground and text space on the right under the dark theme
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LOS ANGELES (KNX) – A new law in California protecting an employee’s right to legal pot use is set to go into effect next year, and could cause legal issues for employers.

The law prevents employers from penalizing or firing an employee who uses marijuana on their own time.

“A person's use of marijuana off the job away from work is now a protected classification,” attorney Shelline Bennett said.

The new law make it tougher for employers to screen an employee who is believed to be under the influence on the job.

“The current drug testing that employers use are primarily drug tests that test for non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites,” Bennett said, adding that the current drug tests most employers have are prohibited by this law. “You have to be able to test for current impairment- THC and that's still being fine-tuned by the pharmaceutical companies.”

Another issue, Bennett said, is that supervisors will have to be trained to recognize impairment, as well as be willing to testify in a termination hearing.

The new law will go into effect January 2024.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images