Virginia Bans Employer Inquiries into Marijuana Possession

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On May 21, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed HB972 into law. The law goes into effect July 1, 2020 leaving employers a few short weeks to come into compliance.
As part of the bill, employers are prohibited from inquiring into – in an application, interview or otherwise – any arrest, criminal charge or conviction that relates to a violation of §18.2-250.1, i.e., simple possession of marijuana. A willful violation of this new law can lead to a Class 1 misdemeanor for each violation.
The law also changes such possession from a misdemeanor to a civil penalty with a small fine. If an individual is operating a commercial motor vehicle at the time of the violation, the violation will be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles and included on the individual’s driving record. Finally, the law allows individuals to seek expungement of their records related to simple possession of marijuana.

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