California employers will no longer be able to make inquiries about job applicant marijuana use, beginning Jan. 1, 2024.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill (SB) 700, making it illegal under the state’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) for an employer to discriminate against an applicant based on prior use of cannabis that is learned from the applicant’s criminal history.
The new law doesn’t preempt state or federal laws requiring an applicant to be tested for controlled substances, according to law firm Jackson Lewis. It also doesn’t prohibit employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history as long as the inquiry is in compliance with state law.
- use of cannabis off the job and away from the workplace, or
- an employer’s drug screening test that finds the individual has non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites in their hair, blood, urine, or other bodily fluids.
However, there is an exemption for the building and construction trades.
AB 2188 also takes effect on Jan. 1, 2024.