Legislative Alert: Maine Bans Pot Test | New Spending Bill | WA Ban the Box [Video]
- Maine Marijuana Decision
- Spending Bill Tackles NICS, Immigration and Opioids
- Washington Becomes #11
Maine Marijuana Decision
The state of Maine has told employers they may no longer test applicants and employees for marijuana use. Since recreational use of the drug is now legal in the state, the Maine Department of Labor has removed marijuana from the list of drugs employers are allowed to test for. That also means it is now illegal for employers to punish employees for using the drug during their off time. Since marijuana testing only shows that a subject has used the drug at some point over the last few days or weeks, employers are no longer allowed to fire or discipline employees unless they are found to have the drug in the workplace. The change does not apply to industries that have federally mandated drug testing, like employers who fall under the Department of Transportation.
[Related Webinar Recording] An Attorney’s 30 Minute Marijuana Update
Spending Bill Tackles NICS, Immigration and Opioids
Congress passed a massive spending bill to fund the federal government until the end of September. The list of things included in the $1.3 trillion bill is long, and many impact the background screening industry, both directly and indirectly. In the aftermath of the recent school shootings, lawmakers included a bipartisan proposal to fix the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Federal agencies would be penalized for failing to report relevant records to the NICS. The money the president wanted to start construction on a border wall was not included in this bill, but there is money for fencing, levees, and technology, as well as more funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The bill also commits $3.3 billion to address the opioid epidemic.
Washington Becomes #11
Governor Jay Inslee signed Washington State’s Fair Chance Act earlier this month, making it the 11th state to Ban the Box. The law covers both public and private sector employers, who must now determine if an applicant is qualified for a position before seeking information on their criminal history. Unlike other ban the box laws, this one does not require any accommodations for employees who have criminal records, but it allows local governments within the state to enact additional protections if they wish. The state law goes into effect on June 7th.
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