WA Senate Bans Hiring Discrimination

Washington Senate Bans Cannabis-Related Hiring Discrimination

The Washington Senate passed a bill Wednesday by a vote of 28 to 21. The bill would make it illegal for employers in the state to refuse to hire someone because they tested positive for cannabis on a drug test.

Sen. Karen Keiser, a Democrat, put forward a similar bill last year, but it was never brought to the floor for a vote. The next stop for the plan is the House of Representatives in Washington, according to an article by Ganjapreneur.

If Senate Bill 5123 becomes law, Washington would join a number of other states that have laws that protect workers from getting in trouble at work for using cannabis when they are not on duty. The bill was passed by the state Senate by a vote of 28-21.  It will now be looked at by the House.

Nevada became the first state in 2019 to make it illegal for employers to turn down a job applicant because a drug test showed they had used cannabis. Last year, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law that makes it illegal to treat a worker differently because they use cannabis when they are not on the job.

Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Des Moines, who is behind the Washington bill, put forward a similar idea last year, but it was never put to a vote.

Keiser said that Washington’s bill only deals with drug tests before hiring. Even if you already have a job, your boss could still test you for cannabis and decide whether or not to hire you based on a drug test that doesn’t include cannabis.

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