California voters have approved Proposition 64 as expected, and recreational use of marijuana will become legal in the state. But employers could still prohibit employees from possessing, using or being under the influence of pot, including for medical reasons, at work.
This is spelled out in the 62-page proposition, but not in the ballot summary that most people will read.
Employers can still refuse to hire an applicant who tests positive for marijuana in a pre-employment drug test and fire workers who are tested for permissible reasons and fail the test, said Marti Fisher, a policy advocate with the California Chamber of Commerce.
Page eight of the ballot summary states that the proposition will not “amend, repeal, affect, restrict, or preempt … the rights and obligations of public and private employers to maintain a drug- and alcohol-free workplace or require an employer to permit or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale, or growth of marijuana in the workplace, or affect the ability of employers to have policies prohibiting the use of marijuana by employees and prospective employees, or prevent employers from complying with state or federal law.”
Because cannabis can remain in a person’s bloodstream for days or longer, a prospective employee who used it Friday and got tested Monday could fail the test and lose out on a job, said Allen Hopper, a Santa Cruz attorney with Vicente Sederberg who was involved in drafting Prop 64.