Prop 19, Employment at Will, and Social Peace

By Walter OlsonWriting at CNN, my colleague Jeffrey Miron puts his finger on one reason for the disappointing defeat of California’s Prop 19:
Prop 19 failed also because it overreached. One feature attempted to protect the “rights” of employees who get fired or disciplined for using marijuana, including a provision that employers could only discipline marijuana use that “actually impairs job performance.” That is a much higher bar than required by current policy.
Like so many other developments in employment law in recent years, this would have chipped away at the basic principle of employment at will, which holds that in the absence of a contract specifying otherwise, either party to an employment relation may end that relation at any time for any reason or f…

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