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SB 5123: A New Tool for Job Seekers Against Weed Discrimination

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SB 5123, being discriminated at work, drug free workplace, washington state bills

SEATTLE – Washington State governor has approved SB 5123, which will shield employees from being discriminated at work throughout the hiring process due to their legal usage of marijuana. Earlier this year, Sen. Karen Keiser’s bill received final approval from Gov. Jay Inslee at a signing ceremony, making it law approximately three weeks after the legislature approved it.

This is one of the many Washington state bills that assist job seekers who use weed after work. Only job candidates are affected by the reform. Inslee noted before signing SB 5123 that employers could still enforce drug free workplace policies once employed. The governor added that SB 5123seeks to protect applicants from hiring discrimination if they use legal cannabis outside of work,” adding that “there are exceptions” for specific industries.

For example, in the aviation and aerospace industries, employers can still make hiring decisions based on marijuana use. And the bill doesn’t provide protections for safety-sensitive positions or those that require federal background checks.

The legislation was revised multiple times throughout the parliamentary process. For instance, it was changed to include protection exceptions for first responders like law enforcement, firefighters, and correctional officers. In marijuana federal legalization, adults who consume cannabis legally outside work hours and during off-hours are granted additional job protections in several other jurisdictions, including California and New York. 

Gov. Inslee also enacted a bill to further psilocybin research and establish a pilot program for therapeutic access to the psychedelic to treat mental illness. He signed it with a partial veto of provisions that he claimed: “No longer align with the bill’s intent.” The governor also stated that a special session of the legislature would be held so lawmakers could stop drug decriminalization legislation from going into force due to any potential state Supreme Court decision, which has ruled against legalizing marijuana in the past.


Here’s More Information on the Topic:

Washington Senate Passes Bill Banning Hiring Discrimination for Pot Use

Washington May Soon Protect Job Applicants Who Use Cannabis

House Passes Senate Bill Banning Some WA Employers from Discriminating against Cannabis Users