Rhode Island, California Protect Recreational Cannabis Use
Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee signed "The Rhode Island Cannabis Act," which grants adults aged 21 and older the right to possess and grow certain amounts of cannabis for recreational use.
Rhode Island Governor Daniel McKee signed "The Rhode Island Cannabis Act," which grants adults aged 21 and older the right to possess and grow certain amounts of cannabis for recreational use. Retail sales are expected to begin as early as December 1, 2022. The new law, which is effective immediately, joins the growing number of states restricting the ability of employers to conduct pre-employment cannabis testing and act based on their employees' lawful off-duty use.
The Cannabis Act allows employers to maintain and enforce a drug-free workplace policy that prohibits employees from using or possessing cannabis in the workplace and from being under the influence of cannabis while they are performing work, including remote work. The law also does not require employers to accommodate the medical use of cannabis in any workplace. However, employers generally cannot terminate or take any disciplinary action against an employee based solely on the employee's private, lawful use of cannabis outside of the workplace, unless the employer can prove the employee has worked, or is working, under the influence of cannabis. Click here to read more from Seyfarth Shaw.
California has also recently expanded the protected categories under the state’s Fair Employment and Housing Act to include off-duty cannabis users, but this will not become effective until January 1, 2024. Like other state laws protecting cannabis use, employers have no obligation to tolerate use or impairment on the job.