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AB-1256 Employment discrimination: cannabis screening test.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 04/12/2021 09:00 PM
AB1256:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 12, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1256


Introduced by Assembly Member Quirk

February 19, 2021


An act to add Section 52.8 to the Civil Code, relating to employment.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1256, as amended, Quirk. Employment discrimination: cannabis screening test.
Existing law establishes various personal rights and makes unlawful certain employment practices that discriminate on certain protected bases. Existing law makes a person who engages in certain prohibited conduct liable in a cause of action by the aggrieved person, as specified.
This bill would prohibit an employer from discriminating against a person in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment because a drug screening test has found the person to have tetrahydrocannabinol in their urine. nonpsychoactive cannabis metabolites in their urine, hair, or bodily fluids. The bill would exempt from its provisions an employer that is required to conduct testing for tetrahydrocannabinol nonpsychoactive cannabis metabolites by federal law or regulations, or that would lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit for failing to conduct testing for tetrahydrocannabinol. nonpsychoactive cannabis metabolites. The bill would also exempt employment in the building and construction trades.
This bill would authorize a person who has suffered discrimination in violation of the bill’s provisions to institute and prosecute in their own name and on their own behalf a civil action for specified relief. The bill would also make related legislative findings and declarations.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 The Legislature find and declares both of the following:
(a) Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the chemical compound in cannabis that can indicate impairment and cause psychoactive effects. After tetrahydrocannabinol is metabolized, it is stored in the brain and fat cells as a nonpsychoactive cannabis metabolite. These metabolites do not indicate impairment, only that an individual has consumed cannabis in the last few weeks.
(b) The intent of drug tests is to identify employees who may be impaired. While there is consensus that an employee should not arrive at a worksite high or impaired, when most tests are conducted for cannabis, the results only show the presence of the nonpsychoactive cannabis metabolite and have no correlation to impairment.

SECTION 1.SEC. 2.

 Section 52.8 is added to the Civil Code, to read:

52.8.
 (a) Except as specified in subdivision (c), an employer shall not discriminate against a person in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment on account of the fact that a drug screening test has found that person to have tetrahydrocannabinol in their urine. nonpsychoactive cannabis metabolites in their urine, hair, or bodily fluids.
(b) A person who has suffered discrimination in violation of subdivision (a) may institute and prosecute in their own name and on their own behalf a civil action for damages, injunctive relief, reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, any other appropriate equitable relief to protect the peaceable exercise of the right or rights secured, and any other relief the court may deem proper.
(c) This section does not prohibit an employer from conducting a screening test for tetrahydrocannabinol nonpsychoactive cannabis metabolites if any of the following apply:
(1) The employer is required to conduct that test by federal law or regulations, including Subpart F of Part 655 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations and the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988.
(2) The employer would lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit for failing to do so.
(3) The employment is in the building and construction trades.