Effective July 13, 2023: District of Columbia employers are prohibited from refusing to hire, terminate from employment, suspend, fail to promote, demote, or penalize an individual based on: (1) The individual’s use of cannabis; (2) The individual’s status as a medical cannabis program patient; or (3) The presence of cannabinoid metabolites in the individual’s bodily fluids in an employer-required or requested drug test without additional factors indicating impairment.
However, an employer may take action related to the use of cannabis if the employee is in a position designated as safety sensitive; the employer’s actions are required by federal statute, federal regulations, or a federal contract or funding agreement; or the employee used, consumed, possessed, stored, delivered, transferred, displayed, transported, sold, purchased, or grew cannabis at the employee’s place of employment, while performing work for the employer, or during the employee’s hours of work
The law goes further in providing how cannabis impairment may be shown, including that the employee is manifesting specific, articulable symptoms that substantially decreases or lessens the employee’s performance of duties or that such symptoms interfere with the employer’s ability to maintain a safe and healthy workplace.
Employers must provide employees:
- Notice of their rights under the Act, which will be prepared by the Office of Human Rights;
- Notice that an employee’s position has been designated as safety-sensitive (if applicable); and
- The protocols for any drug and alcohol testing the employer performs.
Employers must provide this information to employees within 60 days of the effective date and on an annual basis thereafter, as well as upon hire of a new employee.
District of Columbia employers or other employers with locations or employees in D.C. should review their workplace drug testing policies and practices to ensure they comply with the new Act.
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For more information on Medical or Recreational Marijuana, and whether they affect your state, visit our resource guide at the Hire Image Resource Library. If you have any questions about how to best protect your business, employees, and customers, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.