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Good Short Read - ADP Compliance Update on Cannabis | Hate Crimes | Garnishments


I wanted to share this important update on changes surrounding laws and regulations in reference to Cannabis | Hate Crimes | Garnishments


CA Adds Off-Duty Cannabis Protections

California has enacted legislation that: prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals due to off-duty cannabis use; clarifies the state’s hate crimes law as it pertains to the workplace; and modifies the maximum amount of an individual’s disposable earnings subject to levy.


CA Adds Employment Protections for Off-Duty Cannabis Use

California has enacted legislation (Assembly Bill 2188) that prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals because of their use of cannabis while off duty. Assembly Bill 2188 takes effect on January 1, 2024.


The Details:

Effective January 1, 2024, California employers are prohibited from discriminating against individuals based on:


Their use of cannabis while off the


job and away from the workplace.

An employer-required drug test that has found non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites in hair, blood, urine or other bodily fluids.

Employers will still be able to prohibit employees from using, possessing or being impaired by cannabis at work. The law also doesn’t prohibit an employer from taking adverse action against an individual based on a scientifically valid preemployment drug screening conducted through methods that don’t screen for non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites.


Drug Testing:

By way of background, Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the chemical compound in cannabis that can cause impairment and psychoactive effects. After THC is metabolized, it's stored in the body as a non-psychoactive cannabis metabolite. While these metabolites can show cannabis consumption in prior weeks, they don’t indicate impairment.


As a result of Assembly Bill 2188, the drug tests that only show the presence of non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites (and


not impairment) will generally be off limits to employers beginning in 2024. Instead, employers must rely on valid alternative tests, including impairment tests, which measure an individual employee against their own baseline performance, and tests that identify the presence of THC in an individual’s bodily fluids.


Exemptions:

The law doesn’t apply to:


An employee in the building and construction trades.

Applicants or employees hired for positions that require a federal government background investigation or security clearance in accordance with regulations issued by the United States Department of Defense, or equivalent regulations applicable to other agencies.

The law also doesn’t preempt state or federal laws requiring applicants or employees to be tested for controlled substances (and the manner in which they are tested). This includes laws and regulations for receiving federal funding or federal licensing-related benefits, or entering into a federal contract.


Next Steps:

Consult legal counsel to determine the impact of Assembly Bill 2188 on current drug testing policies and practices, including whether an exemption applies.

Unless an exemption applies, ensure drug testing policies and practices comply with Assembly Bill 2188 by January 1, 2024.



Amends Hate Crimes Law

California Amends Hate Crimes Law

California has enacted legislation (Assembly Bill 2282), which clarifies the state’s hate crimes law as it pertains to the workplace, and increases the potential penalties. It takes effect January 1, 2023.


The Details:



By way of background, existing law considers the symbol of the Nazi party (commonly referred to as a “swastika”), the noose, and the burning cross as hate symbols and criminalizes their use to terrorize others. However, state law has had different rules both in terms of punishment and the location in which these symbols are expressly prohibited. The purpose of Assembly Bill 2282 is to align the law in these areas.


Assembly Bill 2282 now makes clear that the display of these and other symbols is prohibited in the workplace if used for the purpose of terrorizing a person who works at or is otherwise associated with the workplace.


Note: The law states that the intent of the legislature isn’t to criminalize ancient swastika symbols that are associated with Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism and are symbols of peace.


Assembly Bill 2282 also increases the penalty for a first conviction for violating the law to up to three years in county jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000 for a felony conviction and $5,000 for a misdemeanor conviction. For subsequent convictions, the maximum fine increases to $15,000 for a felony and $10,000 for a misdemeanor.


Next Steps:



Review policies and procedures to ensure compliance.

Train supervisors on how to respond to suspected violations.

California Modifies Garnishment Maximum Withholding Amount

California has enacted legislation (Senate Bill 1477), which modifies the maximum amount of an individual’s disposable earnings subject to levy when required to enforce a money judgment.


Modifies Garnishment Amount


The Details:

Effective September 1, 2023, the maximum amount of disposable earnings of a judgment debtor for any workweek that is subject to levy must not exceed the lesser of 20% of the individual’s disposable earnings for that week or 40% of the amount by which the individual’s disposable earnings for that week exceed 48 times the state minimum hourly wage. 




Current law provides that the maximum amount of a judgment debtor’s disposable earnings for any workweek that is subject to levy shall not exceed 50% of the amount by which the disposable earnings for the week exceed 40 times the state minimum hourly wage. 


Next Steps:

As of September 1, 2023, California employers when required to enforce a money judgment on an employee must not withhold in excess of the lesser of 20% of the individual’s disposable earnings for that week or 40% of the amount by which the individual’s disposable earnings for that week exceed 48 times the state minimum hourly wage. 


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