It’s 2019 and Oregon workers can nonetheless be terminated for off-work marijuana use. That features not simply leisure use, however off-work medical use by registered cardholders within the Oregon Well being Authority system– even sufferers with debilitating medical situations like most cancers or epilepsy. Because of this Oregon, which has been on the forefront of decriminalization and legalization of marijuana, isn’t any higher than probably the most conservative jurisdictions in the case of off-work use. What provides?

Again in 2017, the Oregon Senator Floyd Prozanski launched Senate Invoice 301. The invoice would have protected worker off-work marijuana use—which means employers couldn’t terminate an worker for utilizing marijuana outdoors of working hours, as long as it didn’t result in on-the-job impairment. The invoice confronted opposition from trade teams associated to worksite security and federal regulation. Accordingly, the invoice was amended to guard solely off-work use by medical marijuana card holders, however this was nonetheless not sufficient to safe passage.

By no means one to be stopped by a little bit failure, Senator Prozanski is again at it and has proposed a brand new invoice, Legislative Idea 2152. The proposed invoice is brief and candy. The related portion merely states:

It’s an illegal employment follow for any employer to require, as a situation of employment, that an worker or potential worker chorus from utilizing a substance that’s lawful to make use of below the legal guidelines of this state throughout nonworking hours besides when the restriction pertains to a bona fide occupational qualification or the efficiency of labor whereas impaired.”

Nonetheless, it appears Senator Prozanski could not have discovered any classes from the 2017 session. The proposed invoice does little to deal with trade considerations associated to federal authorities contractors. Companies that contract with or obtain grants from the federal authorities are required to adjust to the federal Drug-Free Office Act. So long as “marijuana” stays a federally managed substance, these companies should guarantee their workers are drug-free to proceed to contract with or obtain grants from the federal authorities. If the Oregon employer doesn’t adjust to the federal Drug-Free Office Act, they can’t obtain the contract or grant. Nonetheless, in the event that they terminate an worker for off-work marijuana use they’d violate the proposed laws.

Proponents of the proposed invoice have said the invoice wouldn’t permit workers to make use of marijuana if a collective bargaining settlement prohibited it. Nonetheless, a fast look on the invoice demonstrates that it doesn’t clearly tackle that subject, and appears to proceed to disregard the Drug-Free Office Act necessities altogether.

Many different states have managed to cross legal guidelines that defend workers’ off-work use of marijuana. A cautious assessment of different state legal guidelines demonstrates that they particularly tackle the federal considerations. For instance, Arizona’s statute defending off-work medical marijuana use supplies:

Until a failure to take action would trigger an employer to lose a financial or licensing associated profit below federal regulation or rules, an employer could not discriminate in opposition to an individual in hiring, termination, or imposing any time period or situation of employment…based mostly upon…the particular person’s standing as a card holder.”

Legislative ideas are a “draft of an concept for laws.”  Maybe there may be nonetheless time for Senator Prozanski to draft a strong invoice that addresses the considerations of companies that depend on federal contracts and grants, and maybe 2019 actually will develop into the yr worker off-work use of marijuana is protected in Oregon. Keep tuned.


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