The DC Council passed a bill on Tuesday, June 7, prohibiting employers from firing or punishing an employee for using marijuana outside of work or for testing positive for it, as well as refusing to hire anyone for these reasons.
The Prohibition of Marijuana Testing Act of 2021, which was introduced by Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White, has received unanimous approval from the council members.
In addition to private businesses, public employers, including the District government, are affected, while the city’s court system is excluded.
Unpaid interns are also protected under the updated policy. However, people working for the federal government or in positions that are designated safety sensitive are not.
A job is considered a safety-sensitive position if the employee would likely cause actual, immediate, and serious bodily injury or loss of life to self or others. Police, special police, and security officers are in this category, as well as workers who frequently operate a motor vehicle, or heavy or dangerous equipment, and construction workers.
Another exception is when a worker is caught consuming or possessing marijuana in the workplace.
The new regulation will take effect after it is signed into law by DC Mayor Muriel Bowser.