Employees may soon have one less thing to worry about in D.C. as lawmakers this week passed a bill that would ban the firing of employees for failing marijuana tests.

The city council in Washington, D.C. unanimously passed a bill this week, that is now waiting to be approved by Mayor Muriel Bowser.

The bill, named the Cannabis Employment Protections Amendment Act of 2022, would also ban employers from firing or refusing to hire an employee because of their recreational or medical marijuana use.

However, employers won’t be considered in violation of the legislation if they are acting under federal guidelines, or if an employee consumed marijuana at work or while performing work-related duties.

The Cannabis Employment Protections Amendment Act of 2022 also prohibits the “possession, storage, delivery, transfer, display, transportation, sale, purchase, or growing of cannabis at the employee’s place of employment.”

Employers must evaluate “medical marijuana to treat a disability in the same manner as it would treat the legal use of a controlled substance prescribed by or taken under the supervision of a licensed health care professional,” the bill adds.

The bill also does not cover people working in “safety-sensitive” occupations, such as police, security guards, construction workers, those who operate heavy machinery, health care workers, caretakers, or gas and power company employees.

Also excluded from the legislation are employees of the federal government and D.C.’s courts. It does, however, protect other District government employees.

If the bill passes, employers have 60 days to notify their employees of their new rights under the legislation and whether they are designated as safety-sensitive employees.

If Bowser signs it, the bill will become law after a 60-day congressional review and the bill’s publication in the District of Columbia Register.


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