NewsCovering Kern County


How marijuana could impact your employment status

Cannabis lawyer says check with your company's HR
Posted at 6:54 PM, Dec 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-29 21:54:37-05

The legalization of marijuana has been raising questions. At the start of the new year there will be new laws surrounding cannabis. On January 1st you can purchase marijuana, where it's allowed, in California. However, before you start smoking you should do your homework.

Gabriel Godinez, who is a civil litigator of cannabis law said, "Depending on what the job requirements are, heavy machinery, if there's regulations, random drug testing, you're not absolved, whether it's medical or recreational cannabis. If you come up dirty you have the possibility of being terminated."

Locally, Bakersfield businesses are trying to figure out how the new law will impact their hiring and firing procedures. Right now many business owners say they're keeping their same policies.

Owner of Jerry's Pizza, Jerry Baranowski, said, "If we suspecting anybody who can be on any substance, illegal substance, we have a right for screening, for basically the testing."

Henley's Photo's owner, Jimmy Bunting said, "No, no, we're not going to have any changes that that need to be implemented because of this."

While some businesses tell 23 ABC they'll have to match either the federal law or their contracted company's policy, other local businesses say they will treat marijuana the same way they're treating alcohol.

Bunting said, "What they do on their own time is, it's their own time. As long as it doesn't affect our job or any of our, the work that we do for our customers."

Baranowski said, "Good performance at the job, not being under the influence, is good enough."

Godinez encourages employees and employers to talk about what's expected at the workplace as far as marijuana. That way everyone is on the same page.

"It's not just for protection of the employer; it's also protection of the employee. Let the employee know, If you're going to do recreational cannabis, you have the potential of being terminated. But that's on you. That's their decision," said Godinez.