Problem: Currently, Oregonians are at risk of losing their jobs or being denied an employment opportunity simply for the consumption of legal substances in their off-hours.
Oregon employees may be fired or not hired solely due to their employer learning that they have consumed legal substances like cannabis during their personal time, even if they were never impaired at work and the use did not impact their performance.
This is especially problematic for cannabis use, as metabolites can remain detectable in the system for 20-30 days following a single use. Currently, off-hours tobacco use is protected from employment discrimination by statute.
The current dynamic is hindering the ability of otherwise qualified people to find and/or keep jobs - increasing Oregonian’s risk of financial insecurity. This is especially true for lower wage employees, further entrenching legal cannabis as a right only for the wealthy and privileged.
Solution: Support HB 2655, and extend current employment protections to include cannabis the same way it protects off-hours tobacco use, with the proper exceptions for safety, negotiated labor contracts, actual on the job impairment or use of intoxicants.
This would not protect employees who are impaired on the job, and only prevents using off-hours consumption as grounds for terminating or rejecting employment
We can include certain necessary exemptions for jobs that have a legitimate or ‘bona-fire occupational requirement or qualification’ that would be highly relevant.
Exceptions can also exist for collective bargaining agreements or other positions where employees enter into a contract agreeing not to consume in their off-hours.
Oregon would not be the first state to pass an employment protection law of this kind.
There are currently at least nine states providing employment protections for either medical or recreational cannabis and Vancouver B.C. now provided these protections to its police force.
We Urge You To Please Vote Yes on HB 2655!
The Oregon Retailers of Cannabis Association (ORCA) is a trade association of over 300 member businesses working to develop smart cannabis policy that promotes a robust retail cannabis marketplace in Oregon.