Job Protections Afforded to Cannabis Users in Washington D.C.

The Marijuana Employment Protections Amendment Act of 2022 takes effect in July, 2023.

The Act will prohibit Washington D.C. employers from making an adverse employment decision on an individual who uses marijuana. This includes employees that test positive for the substance. Adverse employment actions based on cannabis use, positive test results and/or medical marijuana patient status may include:

  • Refusal to hire
  • Termination
  • Suspension
  • Failure to promote
  • Demotion
  • Other penalties

There are several exceptions to the Act including positions in safety-sensitive occupations and employers impacted by federal statute, regulation, contract or funding agreement requirements that prohibit marijuana use and/or possession while on site and/or on duty. Also excluded are employees of the federal government and the District's courts.

The law will permit the adoption of "reasonable drug-free workplace or employment policy" by employers for post-accident or reasonable suspicion drug testing of employees in safety-sensitive positions.

Employers are required to notify workers of their rights afforded by the new law within 60 days of it becoming effective. This includes the identification of safety-sensitive roles and informing affected employees of the drug and alcohol testing protocols associated with those positions. These notices must be provided upon employment and annually thereafter. The text of the law can be accessed here.

Washington D.C. employers are encouraged to assess current policies and workflows and identify what changes will be required in advance of the previously mentioned deadlines. Truescreen account management teams are available to discuss any questions or concerns clients may have.

Posted: November 15, 2022

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This document and/or presentation is provided as a service to our customers. Its contents are designed solely for informational purposes, and should not be inferred or understood as legal advice or binding case law, nor shared with any third parties. Persons in need of legal assistance should seek the advice of competent legal counsel. Although care has been taken in preparation of these materials, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of the information contained within it. Anyone using this information does so at his or her own risk.

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