Colorado Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Protect Employees Who Use Pot Off The Clock

Two lawmakers in Colorado are pushing for passage of a law that would protect employees in the state from being fired for their use of pot off the job. The measure, House Bill 20-1089, was introduced by Democratic Rep. Jevon Melton of Aurora.

If passed, the bill would prohibit employers “from terminating an employee for the employee’s lawful off-duty activities that are lawful under state law.” Similar legislation was enacted in California when that state legalized the recreational use of cannabis, but so far Colorado has yet to pass an equivalent measure.

“It was just a glaring gap that we have here in the statute, especially when we’re supposed to regulate marijuana like we are with alcohol,” Melton said. “If someone’s able to drink while they’re at home and on their free time, as long as they’re not coming into work intoxicated, then they’re not penalized with their employment.”

The law is necessitated by a Colorado Supreme Court decision that upheld the 2010 firing of Brandon Coats by his employer, Dish Network. Coats had been using marijuana while off-duty to help control seizures and was fired by the company when he tested positive in a random drug screening. Attorneys for

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