The District of Columbia Enacts Marijuana User Protection and Second Chance Act

Washington D.C. has passed two new bills that will provide protections for marijuana users and individuals with criminal records seeking employment within the district.

Cannabis Employment Protections Amendment Act of 2022 (CEPAA)

As previously reported in November, this Act prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or job applicants who use marijuana or test positive for the drug, except in certain safety-sensitive positions or as required by law. The bill will become effective on or after July 13, 2023. Employers should review and revise their drug-testing policies to comply with the new law before the July deadline.

Second Chance Amendment Act

D.C.'s Second Chance Amendment Act (Second Chance) will allow for automatic sealing of non-violent criminal records for individuals charged - but not convicted - of a crime and will shorten waiting periods to seal conviction records. It also allows employment applicants to indicate "no record" when asked about prior arrests, court appearances, adjudications, or convictions. Certain employers, such as those working with vulnerable populations, will still have access to criminal records. Although previously scheduled to go into effect in March 2023, this Act will not be operative until its fiscal impact is included in an approved budget.

Posted: May 10, 2023

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