NJ: Senate Committee Unanimously Passes Job Protection for Medical Cannabis Patients

job protectionNew Jersey’s Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee has given unanimous approval to legislation that would explicitly prohibit employers from firing or discriminating against an employee for participating in the state’s medical cannabis program.

Under the proposed law (Senate Bill 3162), which was passed 6 to 0, employers can only fire an individual for their medical cannabis use if it clearly impacts their job. The measure has now been sent to the full 40-member Senate, where its passage is expected. If given approval in the full Senate, it will head to the Assembly before going to Governor Chris Christie for final consideration.

“It was not the intent of the legislature when we passed the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act to allow patients to lose their jobs simply because of their use of medical marijuana,” says Senator Nicholas Scutari (D-Union), who sponsored the bill. “Medical marijuana should be treated like any other legitimate medication use by an employee.”

“Unless an employer establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that the lawful use of medical marijuana has impaired the employee’s ability to perform the employee’s job responsibilities, it shall be unlawful to take any adverse employment action against an employee who is a qualified registered patient,” the bill states.

The full text of Senate Bill 3162 can be found by clicking here.


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