A bill to protect workers in Washington State from facing employment discrimination over their use of marijuana during the hiring process is officially heading to the governor’s desk.
After some back-and-forth between the chambers over amended language, the Senate gave the bill final approval on Wednesday in a 30-18 vote.
The legislation from Sen. Karen Keiser (D) would prohibit employers from discriminating against job applicants based on their cannabis consumption that’s legal in the state.
Happy 4/20, WA! You shouldn’t be penalized in job applications for enjoying a legal substance at home. #SB5123 — passed yesterday on a bipartisan vote — will protect employees from hiring discrimination due to cannabis use outside the workplace. #WALeg #PuttingPeopleFirst pic.twitter.com/KovV3O6SPv
— WA Senate Democrats (@WASenDemocrats) April 20, 2023
The reform is limited to job applicants. Employers would still be able to maintain drug-free workplaces, or prohibit the use of cannabis by workers after they are hired.
Also, people could still be denied jobs over marijuana in the airline and aerospace industries. And the bill doesn’t provide protections for safety sensitive positions or those that require federal background checks or security clearance.
The measure was amended several times throughout the legislative process. For
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