The California Department of Food and Agriculture recently announced a plan to drug test employees in the new CalCannabis Licensing Unit. ACSS members were concerned with privacy issues and the testing procedures that would be utilized. While the State maintains a drug free workplace, the random or “reasonable suspicion” drug testing of employees has been limited to those in medical, correctional or peace officer settings or employees operating heavy equipment or machinery. The drug testing rules balance constitutional privacy issues with the State’s interest in protecting employees and the public.
Following a Meet and Confer with CDFA over the proposed new testing, ACSS sent a letter to the Department of Human Resources (CalHR) and CDFA requesting that they reconsider the drug testing program at CDFA. Upon receipt of ACSS’ letter, CDFA withdrew the plan to drug test the CalCannabis employees and does not plan to pursue drug testing of employees in other CDFA divisions.