Can I Be Fired for Smoking Marijuana While Off the Job?

Recreational weed is legal – but can you still be fired for smoking marijuana on your own time? Do recreational marijuana laws mean that employers are not allowed to discriminate based on your use of the drug?

The answer? It depends on your employer. Employers still have a lot of freedom in crafting their own marijuana policies. Companies are still allowed to drug test employees and potential applicants, and are allowed to fire them or refuse to hire them if they test positive for marijuana. And even if you do work at a weed-friendly company, employers can still fire you if they don’t want you consuming during the work day.

What about medical marijuana? If you have a prescription for medical marijuana, unfortunately, there are still no state laws protecting your employment. Employers are not required to accommodate medical marijuana users. Even if you can present evidence of a doctor’s recommendation for legal medical marijuana use, the California Supreme Court has ruled that employers are still able to fire you for testing positive.

What about state workers? Many state agencies in California are able to test employees if they have reasonable suspicion that the workers are using drugs or alcohol. If those tests are positive, the state agencies are able to terminate the employee.

So, if you plan on using marijuana recreationally in California and are seeking employment, you should familiarize yourself with your prospective employer’s policies and feelings toward marijuana use.

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