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California Assembly Approves Senate-Passed Bill To Stop Employers From Asking About Past Marijuana Use

The California Assembly has approved a Senate-passed bill that would prohibit employers from asking job applicants about prior marijuana use.

About two weeks after the Assembly Appropriations Committee cleared the legislation from Sen. Steven Bradford (D) with technical amendments, the full chamber advanced it in a 59-8 vote on Wednesday. It now heads back to the Senate for concurrence on the minor revision before potentially moving to the governor’s desk.

When employers ask applicants about past marijuana use, it “not only dissuades candidates from applying for these positions but also leads to situations in which individuals respond dishonestly to get the job,” Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D) said on the floor ahead of the latest vote.

The bill would build on existing employment protections enacted last session that bar employers from penalizing most workers for using cannabis in compliance with state law off the job.

With certain exceptions, “it is unlawful for an employer to request information from an applicant for employment relating to the applicant’s prior use of cannabis,” the bill text says.

Current law as enacted last year says that it is unlawful for employers “to discriminate against a person in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment, or

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