As marijuana is becoming legalized in California and other states throughout the nation, the laws are starting to change regarding them. Assembly Bill 1256, proposed by Assemblyman Bill Quirk, seeks to prohibit employment discrimination regarding marijuana. The Bill would make it illegal for an employer to hire, fire, or change any other employment condition due to a positive drug screening test revealing the presence of THC.
Various job sectors institute regular drug testing to identify whether or not employees are under the influence of drugs. When a person takes a drug test after using marijuana, the results will show positive for THC. This is a psychoactive component found in marijuana that gives the user a ‘high’ feeling. Drug testing is required by some employers to ensure the safety of their employees and the people around them.
According to AB 1256, certain employers will still be able to conduct drug screening tests for THC in three different circumstances. First, if any federal regulations or laws require the employer to conduct drug testing, they may do so. Second, if an employer could potentially lose their licensing or a monetary benefit if they don’t drug test, they may do so. Lastly, the Bill approves those in the construction and building sectors to do regular drug screening.
Employees may file a lawsuit
Traditionally, employees facing discrimination must file a complaint with the EEOC. However, AB 1256 would give employees the right to file a lawsuit against their employer if they feel that they’ve suffered discrimination from violation of this bill. They may sue for damages, injunctive relief, and reasonable attorney fees.
AB 1256 may just change the way that employers screen for drug use. It will also alter the traditional process for reporting workplace discrimination. Only time will tell if this Bill will be the new standard for California residents.