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California Expands FEHA Protection to Off the Job Cannabis Use

Oct. 13, 2022

The Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), which protects employees from discrimination, harassment, and retaliation in the workplace, has been expanded to protect the use of off-the-job cannabis use by employees.

Up until recently, the FEHA prohibited employers from discriminating against any person with respect to all terms, conditions, and privileges of employment on the basis of a protected class, which includes race, religion, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender, identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status. With the recent passage of Assembly Bill 2188, California lawmakers have included another protected category to that list, which includes off-duty and off-site cannabis use.

In light of this new law, employers cannot discriminate, harass or retaliate against job applicants and employees who use medicinal or recreational cannabis outside of the workplace in their private lives. This is another positive step towards expanding protections of employees in California's workforce.