Code of the District of Columbia

§ 1–620.62(Perm). Protections for qualifying patients.

(a)(1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law and except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, an agency may not refuse to hire, terminate from employment, penalize, fail to promote, or otherwise take adverse employment action against an individual based upon the individual's status as a qualifying patient unless the individual used, possessed, or was impaired by marijuana at the individual's place of employment or during the individual's hours of employment.

(2) A qualifying patient's failure to pass an agency-administered drug test for marijuana components or metabolites may not be used as a basis for employment-related decisions unless reasonable suspicion exists that the qualifying patient was impaired by or used marijuana at the qualifying patient's place of employment or during the qualifying patient's hours of employment.

(b) Subsection (a) of this section shall not apply:

(1) To positions that are designated as safety-sensitive; or

(2) If compliance would cause the agency to commit a violation of a federal law, regulation, contract, or funding agreement.

(c)(1) Upon the request of an employee who is a qualifying patient, an agency must provide a reasonable accommodation for the employee's use of medical marijuana, including by engaging in an interactive process to determine the appropriate reasonable accommodation.

(2) A reasonable accommodation may include reassigning or transferring an employee to an open position for which the employee is otherwise qualified, or modifying or adjusting the employee's job duties or working environment, or modifying or adjusting the agency's operating procedures to enable the employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. An accommodation is not reasonable if it would:

(A) Place the employee in a position that is designated as safety-sensitive;

(B) Impose an undue hardship on the employing agency; or

(C) Cause the agency to commit a violation of a federal law, regulation, contract, or funding agreement.

(3)(A) An employee's election to pursue relief under this section shall not prejudice the employee's right to pursue relief under other District or federal law.

(B) A reasonable accommodation or interactive process provided under this subsection may be combined with a reasonable accommodation or interactive process provided pursuant to other District or federal law.

(d) Nothing in subsection (c) of this section may be interpreted as requiring an agency employer to permit an employee who is a qualifying patient to:

(1) Use or administer marijuana at the employee's place of employment or during the employee's hours of employment; or

(2) Be impaired by marijuana at the employee's place of employment or during the employee's hours of employment.

(e) Notwithstanding § 1-604.04(a), the Council may issue rules to implement the provisions of this section.


(Mar. 3, 1979, D.C. Law 2-139, § 2062; as added Apr. 27, 2021, D.C. Law 23-276, § 2(e), 68 DCR 48.)