A bill to protect workers in Washington state from facing job discrimination for using marijuana during the hiring process is officially heading to the governor’s office.
And after some flipping between the two chambers over amended language, the Senate gave final approval to the bill on Wednesday by a vote of 30 to 18.
Legislation from Sen. Karen Kaiser (D) prohibits employers from discriminating against job applicants based on their cannabis consumption, which is legal in the state.
Happy 4/20, WA! You should not be penalized in job applications for having legal substance at home. #SB5123 – passed yesterday in a bipartisan vote – will protect employees from employment discrimination due to cannabis use outside the workplace. #WALeg #PuttingPeopleFirst pic.twitter.com/KovV3O6SPv
– WA Senate Democrats (WASenDemocrats) April 20, 2023
The fix is limited to job applicants. Employers will still be able to maintain drug-free workplaces, or ban cannabis use by workers after they are hired.
Also, people can still be denied jobs because of marijuana in the aviation and aerospace industries. The bill does not provide protections for safety-sensitive situations or those that require federal background checks or security clearance.
The procedure has been modified several times during the legislative process. For example, it has been revised to specify protection exceptions for law enforcement, firefighters, first responders, and corrections officers.
The House of Representatives last month adopted an amendment that would have moved the legal language to a different part of state law, but it was rewritten after the Senate initially refused to approve the change last week.
Kaiser Shepherd He said On earth on wednesday that last amendment make invoice “It goes the way I intended it.”
“The legislature found that the legalization of recreational cannabis in Washington state in 2012 created a disconnect between the legal activities of prospective employees and the employment practices of employers,” the text of the law says.
“Many cannabis tests only show the presence of non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites from past cannabis use, including up to 30 days in the past, which is unrelated to the applicant’s future job performance.” “The Legislature intends to prevent the restriction of employment opportunities on the basis of an applicant’s past use of cannabis.”
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If enacted, Washington would join Nevada in banning discrimination against job applicants who test positive for marijuana. Several other states, such as California and New Yorkproviding broader job protections for adults who legally use cannabis during work hours and away from work.
The bill is now awaiting action from Governor Jay Inslee (D), who received a number of drug policy proposals in this session.
For example, the legislature recently passed a bill that would advance research into psilocybin and create a pilot program to provide therapeutic access to the drug for mental health treatment.
Lawmakers approved another measure last week that would allow the governor to enter into agreements with other legal marijuana states to engage in the interstate trade of cannabis, pending a federal policy change.
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