People who legally consume cannabis in Nevada can finally heave some sigh of relief as Governor Steve Sisolak signed a bill on Friday that bars employers from denying job opportunities to prospect employees for their legal cannabis use.
The Assembly Bill (AB 132) prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals on the basis of a positive result for marijuana use in a pre-employment drug screening or an applicant’s admission of legal cannabis use.
Notably, the bill was passed in the Nevada State Assembly in April by a vote of 33 to 8, while the state Senate did the same by a margin of 12 to 8 in May.
“There’s still a stigma around marijuana, despite it being legal for medical and recreational use,” Kiera Sears, a consultant with the Joey Gilbert Law Firm in Reno, told local media.
In Nevada, the medicinal use of marijuana was legalized by voters back in 2000, which was followed by a ballot initiative 16 years later that legalized the adult-use of the drug.
One thing that employers should know here is the bill doesn’t bar them from administering drug tests, but they can’t refuse employment only because of a positive cannabis test.
Those who think that they were a victim of such drug tests can turn to courts for relief next year, when the bill is signed into law.
Sears believes that in order to avoid potential litigation, companies should set clear policies for both prospect and present employees. “As an employer, you really need to work on your employment manual so that each person who is already working or is looking to work in your organization gets a clear understanding of their boundaries.”
To employees, Sears says that they should ‘be respectful’ as the state has “gone against the Federal government and that shouldn’t be taken for granted.”
The bill is scheduled to go into effect on Jan 1, 2020.