Voters in Michigan, Utah and Missouri passed marijuana-related ballot measures in the November 2018 elections.  Michigan, which legalized medical marijuana in 2008, became the tenth state to legalize recreational use of marijuana.  Utah voters agreed to institute a formal structured medical marijuana program, greatly expanding the scope of the state’s existing medical marijuana law, and Missouri voters for the first time authorized the state to create a system of licensed marijuana dispensaries for medical purposes. Each of these measures recognizes that marijuana remains a controlled substance, and illegal, under federal law, and that authorized users, growers, physicians, and any others who properly support or participate in these programs will be shielded from liability only under state law.

Continue Reading Drug-Free Workplaces Are Not Compromised by 2018’s Newest Crop of Marijuana Laws

According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, California has had the highest number of reported cases of human trafficking in the country over the last six years, followed by Texas and Florida.  Human trafficking victims include men and women, adults and children, and foreign nationals and United States citizens. Recent studies indicate that hotels and motels are common locations for sex trafficking.

In light of these startling statistics, now is a good time for employers to become informed about new legislation associated with human trafficking crimes and to implement or update their anti-human trafficking policies and practices. Continue Reading New California Legislation Imposes Human Trafficking Training Requirements on Hotel and Transit Employers

In a time when workplace violence seems to be on the rise, many companies have adopted a strict no tolerance policy even for conduct outside the workplace.  In California, however, employers need to be cognizant of the protections afforded individuals that may make such terminations riskier than the company may expect.  One employer got just such a reminder last week when a California jury returned an $18M verdict against it for terminating an employee after he was arrested for threatening his girlfriend outside of the workplace.

Continue Reading Terminating an Employee Arrested for Off-Duty Conduct Could Run Afoul of California Law

There may be some changes coming to how California enforces its antidiscrimination law, the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”).  In February 2017, a bill (Senate Bill 491) was introduced in the California Senate proposing to allow local government entities to enforce antidiscrimination statutes.

Continue Reading California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing Will Study Local Enforcement of State Employment Anti-Discrimination Law