The District of Columbia legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes in 2010 and began to permit individuals to use the drug recreationally in 2015. Last month, on July 13, 2022, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the “Cannabis Employment Protections Amendment Act of 2022” (D.C. Act 24-483), joining the growing list of jurisdictions prohibiting most employers from taking adverse action (e.g., rejecting job applicants or terminating employees) for off-duty cannabis use. The bill must go through a congressional review period before becoming law.
About the Act
What employers may not do:
The Act will make it unlawful for most employers to refuse to hire, terminate, or take other adverse employment action based on (1) an individual’s use of cannabis or status as a medical cannabis program patient or (2) the presence of cannabinoid metabolites in the individual’s bodily fluids in any drug test, absent “additional factors indicating impairment.” On the latter point, an employer can take action against an employee for cannabis use if “the employee manifests specific articulable symptoms while working, or during the employee’s hours of work, that substantially decrease or lessen the employee’s performance of the duties or tasks of the employee’s job position,” or if such “specific articulable symptoms interfere with an employer’s obligation to provide a safe and healthy workplace as required by District or federal occupational safety and health law.”