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Oregon Bill Would Prevent Employers from Firing or Not Hiring Someone for Off-the-Job Marijuana Use

A bill to prevent employers from firing or refusing to hiring someone for off-the-job marijuana use has been filed in Oregon.

Senate Bill 301 is similar to a proposal recently filed in Washington State, but would take things a step further by protecting recreational cannabis users, and not just those using it for medical purposes. The measure would override an Oregon Supreme Court decision that says employers have the right to fire and refuse to hire individuals for cannabis use, even if it’s for medical purposes.

“The beauty of this particular (proposed) statute is that it really builds on a little-used statute brought about by the tobacco industry,” says Beth Creighton, a Portland attorney who specializes in representing employees. “It’s definitely an individual rights issue.. The voters in the state of Oregon have decided that marijuana is legal, so you shouldn’t be fired for something that’s legal.”

The bill would prohibit employers from requiring that employees or potential employees “refrain from using a substance that is lawful to use under the laws of this state during nonworking hours.”

The measure allows drug testing only for “bona fide occupational qualification” or to prevent on-the-job impairment.

The full text of Senate Bill 301 can be found by clicking here.

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About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

11 comments

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  1. Jess

    How would the test you to see if you were high at work? It’s simple they can’t because it’s a urinalysis test and so if you do use canibis you will fail. There fore it’s not practical to test therefore you have employees under the influence working theis said boneified jobs requiring for sober employees. I.e. More on the job accidents, higher insurance premiums, and people not qualified for the job. Come on people I get it if you are a medical user but for recreational use no way should this bill be passed!

  2. Will

    @Anonymous …

    The can also input a policy that discrimates against women, gays, Republicans, christians, etc.

    Just because they’ve put it on a piece of paper doesn’t mean that it’s legal and/or enforceable.

    God amighty …

    Millennials are so ignorant.

    Perhaps we should input hiring practices that prohibit the hiring and permitting the firing of …

    Millennials!

  3. Skyler

    When does this take effect

  4. Anonymous

    It seems a little vague???
    except when the restriction relates to
    :
    (a)
    A bona fide occupational [
    requirement.
    ]
    qualification; or
    (b) The performance of work while impaired.
    (2) Subsection (1) of
    this section does not apply if an applicable collective bargaining agreement
    prohibits off-duty use of [
    tobacco products
    ]
    the substance
    .Seems like they can still wright a policy to get around this???

  5. Janice

    Legalize it, with no discrimination !

  6. Anonymous

    Regardless, any company or business can input a policy or standard in which nobody can get hired if they use any drug.

    1. Anon

      That’s why unions are great. They cant just add stuff as they see fit.

    2. Anonymous

      Yes a legal drugs regulated by law

    3. Anonymous

      No they wouldnt be able to after this bill passes. Have you even read it? Thats the whole point of the bill.

      1. Lavigne

        Great thikginn! That really breaks the mold!

    4. Anonymous

      Shouldn’t that read illegal drug?

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