Hilary Weddell Talks About the New California Cannabis Discrimination Laws

In recent years, California has passed new laws to destigmatize an employee’s cannabis use, including the recently effective SB 700, which bans employers from discriminating against an employee for previous cannabis use. Partner Hilary Weddell covers SB 700 and its implications on the workplace in an article for the Daily Journal’s annual “New Laws” supplement.

Hilary briefly touches on similar cannabis laws – namely AB 2188, a bill from the 2022 session that closed the loophole on an employer’s ability to ask about an employee’s off-the-job cannabis use. SB 700 builds upon AB 2188 by making it unlawful for employers to request information relating to a prospective employee’s prior cannabis use. California already had provisions preventing employers from asking about alcohol or other legal drug use in the employment context, so SB 700 extends this protection to include cannabis.

Hilary concludes her article with a few key takeaways for employers, including a note that they should update their handbooks and avoid making adverse decisions based on an employee’s or applicant’s previous cannabis use. She reminds employers that cannabis is still prohibited by federal law and encourages them to be cautious to ensure that no workplace policy or employment decision on cannabis use runs afoul of other applicable laws.

To read the full article, visit the Daily Journal. (subscription required)