It seems that the current legislative session in Virginia has been very busy when it comes to the rights of workers in the state.
Historically, VA didn’t have very many laws at the state level when it came to employment. Now, there are two laws set to take effect on July 1, 2021.
The first is HB 1848. This is an amendment to the VHRA, or the Virginia Human Rights Act, which gives additional protections to people who have disabilities and are capable of performing the essential functions of the job they were hired to do, whether that requires reasonable accommodation or not.
Essentially making it law that an employer must make a good faith effort to provide a requested accommodation, and if that request is not reasonable to find a suitable alternative that can be made.
The second bill, HB 1862, is a very exciting one.
What it does is that it prohibits an employer from taking disciplinary action against an employee simply because they had been recommended and use cannabis by their physician for their particular health condition.
What I like about this law is that even though I am fully for the protections of the use of this amazing plant, there are times and places where it is not appropriate to have recently consumed cannabis. And that use could impair someone’s ability to perform a task, and if that impairment affects productivity or safety, then disciplinary action can be taken.
For instance, being a commercial driver and getting into an accident while under the influence.
What I am not fond of is the limit of ∆9-THC to 10mg per serving. Some people require much more than that in a single serving of a finished product to be able to function. The limit of a minimum 5mg of CBD to be classified as a ‘cannabis oil’ is also quite a low bar to be set, though I don’t see any reason to be bothered by that.
Do you think these are legitimate laws that were passed? Would you like to see anything changed? Did I miss something, or not get a part correct? Leave a comment below, and let’s chat!
HB 1862 prohibits employers from discharging, disciplining, or discriminating against an employee for their “lawful use of cannabis oil pursuant to a valid written certification issued by a practitioner for the treatment or to eliminate symptoms of the employee’s diagnosed condition or disease. “Cannabis oil” under the law is “any formulation of processed cannabis plant extract, which may include oil from industrial hemp extract acquired by a pharmaceutical processor pursuant to state law; or a dilution of the resin of the cannabis plant that contains at least five milligrams of cannabidiol (CBD) or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THC-A) and no more than 10 milligrams of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) per dose.”” […]