cannabis leaf and rolled

California Expands Job Protections for Cannabis Users

On October 7, 2023, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill No. 700 into law, with the law taking effect on January 1, 2024.

In 2023, Assembly Bill (AB) No. 2188 amended California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to prohibit employers from engaging in any adverse employment action against employees for off-duty marijuana use. SB 700 further amends FEHA to protect applicants from discrimination based on prior cannabis use, with certain exceptions. SB 700 prohibits employers from requesting information from an applicant for employment relating to the applicant’s prior use of cannabis. SB 700 also prohibits employers from using information obtained from a criminal history about an applicant or employee’s prior cannabis use, unless the employer is permitted to consider or inquire about that information under the state’s Fair Chance Act, or other state or federal law.

Note that SB 700 does not preempt any state or federal laws requiring applicants or employees to be tested for controlled substances, nor does it apply to applicants or employees hired for positions that require a federal government background investigation or security clearance.

Posted in Discrimination and Harassment, Employment Law, General.