California Labor &
Employment Law Blog
Oct 2, 2008

Schwarzenegger Vetoes Medical Marijuana Bill

Topics: New Laws & Legislation

Earlier this week, Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have provided certain employment protections to users of medical marijuana. AB 2279, sponsored by San Francisco Assemblyman Mark Leno, sought to overturn a recent California Supreme Court decision (Ross v. Ragingwire Telecommunications, Inc., 42 Cal.4th 920 (2008) holding that employers may lawfully terminate an employee who tests positive for marijuana, regardless of whether the employee claims the marijuana usage was medically prescribed. If the Governor had signed AB 2279 into law, employers would have been generally prohibited from firing or discriminating against applicants or employees for their use of medical marijuana. In vetoing the bill, Gov. Schwarzenegger indicated that he was concerned with interfering in employment decisions relating to marijuana use and that employment protection was not the purpose or goal of the 1996 ballot measure that legalized medical marijuana use in California.

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Robin Largent has a regular presence in California state and federal courts and has been lead defense counsel and appellate counsel for large and small California employers in litigation (and arbitration) ranging from individual discrimination and harassment claims to complex wage and hour representative and class actions. She also leads the firm’s appellate practice, having substantial experience and success handling appeals, writ petitions, and amicus briefs in both state and federal court on issues such as class certification (particularly in the wage and hour arena), manageability and due process concerns associated with class action trials, exempt/non-exempt misclassification issues, meal and rest break compliance, trade secret/unfair competition matters, and the scope of federal court jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act.
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