Washington Governor Signs Bill to Protect Employees from Drug Testing for THC

Washington Governor Signs Bill to Protect Employees from Drug Testing for THC

Washington state will soon take steps to protect employees from pre-employment drug testing for cannabis in a variety of settings.

Governor Jay Inslee signed it on May 9. Senate Bill 5132 Establish broad protections for employees who consume cannabis while imposing restrictions on employment drug testing for cannabis.

Employers have until January 1, 2024, the effective date of the bill, to be ready to comply. The bill was introduced by Senator Karen Kaiser (D-Des Moines), chairman of the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee.

“It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a person in his or her initial hiring of employment on the basis of (a) the person’s off-the-job use of cannabis outside of his/her job; or (b) ) if an employer-requested drug screening test reveals that the person’s hair, blood, urine, or other bodily fluids contain non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites,” the bill reads. I’m here.

Washington on i502 legalized During the 2022-2023 Congress, lawmakers in Washington worked to implement legislation that would close the gap between employment practices and current law.

SB 5132 provides exemptions for jobs involving federal security checks or background checks in law enforcement, fire departments, first responders, prison officers, airlines or the aerospace industry, or any safety-sensitive occupation. I’m here.

Why cannabis drug tests don’t work

of Spokesperson – Review report Cannabis metabolites can be detected long after injury, persisting for up to 30 days or more. However, a 2021 study by the University of Sydney found that cognitive impairment only lasts between 3 and 10 hours. These researchers found that cannabis drug testing is likely an inaccurate method of determining functional impairment.

“Urinalysis for non-occupational cannabis consumption is by no means an evidence-based policy.” Said NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano. “Rather, this discriminatory practice is a remnant of the ‘war on drugs’ zeitgeist of the 1980s. But times have changed. People’s thinking has changed, and marijuana laws have changed in many places. Workplace policies. It is time for employers to adapt to this new reality and stop punishing employees for off-hours activities that do not threaten workplace safety.”

“People who legally and responsibly consume alcohol while away from work will not be sanctioned by their employers as long as it does not adversely affect their performance at work,” Armentano added. Those who legally consume cannabis should follow similar standards. ”

In 2019, Nevada enacted a similar law banning cannabis drug testing by employers. California, Connecticut, Montana, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island have enacted workplace protection laws that limit the ability of employers to conduct THC tests or sanction employees for THC use. Take cannabis off work. At the local level, Atlanta, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and the District of Columbia have approved bills that limit the ability of employers to prescreen job applicants for past cannabis use.

The effects of cannabis wear off within hours. Numerous studies have shown that employees who consume cannabis after hours perform no better than those who do not.

The new law means Washington employers must review and revise their drug testing policies to align with the protections provided by SB 5132. The pre-employment cannabis drug testing requirement to test for or report non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites should be removed to ensure policy compliance. Clearly outline drug test exemptions, including post-accident and suspicion-based situations.

New York State has issued similar guidelines. In October 2021, the New York State Department of Labor (DOL) announced legalization of recreational marijuana use and new workplace guidance, including protections for new workers. The new guidance clarifies that employers should tolerate cannabis use after hours in most circumstances. The law defines a mandatory pre-employment drug test for cannabis as “discrimination.”

Alexandra Solorio
Introducing Alexandra, an accomplished cannabis writer who has passionately pursued her craft for a decade. Through a decade-long journey, Alexandra has cultivated a profound connection with the cannabis world, translating her expertise into captivating prose. From unraveling the plant's rich history to exploring its therapeutic marvels and legal evolution, she has adeptly catered to both connoisseurs and newcomers. An unwavering advocate, Alexandra's words not only enlighten but also advocate responsible cannabis use, establishing her as an indispensable industry voice over the past ten years.

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