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Weekend Roundup: A New Medical Marijuana State, Equal Pay Legislation, and More

Oklahoma just became the 30th state in the U.S. to allow access to medical marijuana. Could it be a bellwether among other politically conservative states nearby? In other news, a new study confirms that background screening is becoming more commonplace for both full-time and part-time employees, and New Jersey enacts equal pay legislation to combat gender inequity in the workplace. Here’s your Weekend Roundup:

Oklahoma Voters Legalize Marijuana For Medical Use

Voters in Oklahoma approved a ballot measure making the state the 30th in the nation to allow broad access to medical marijuana. The proposal, which passed by a 57% to 43% margin on Tuesday, will allow doctors to recommend cannabis for any medical condition they see fit. States that legalise marijuana need to think about the distribution of their product through the idea of marijuana packaging. There are regulations that dispensaries need to look into before selling medical marijuana to their patients. For any business, especially when it comes to the health of others, it is best to be safe than sorry.

Most other state medical marijuana laws delineate a specific list of diseases and disorders for which physicians can authorize patients’ participation.

The approval of such a far-reaching marijuana proposal in a deeply red state like Oklahoma — during a midterm primary election, no less — is a clear sign of the mainstream political support that cannabis reform now enjoys.

NAPBS Survey Reveals 95 Percent of Employers Conduct Employment Background Screenings in 2018

The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) has released the results of its second annual background screening survey of Human Resources (HR) professionals that revealed 95 percent of employers said their organization is conducting employment background screening in 2018.

The NAPBS commissioned to conduct an “unprecedented” national survey of 2,137 HR professionals to gauge their views on background screening. The survey entitled “How Human Resource Professionals View the Use and Effectiveness of Background Screening Methods” found:

  • 95 percent of employers stated their organization is conducting one or more types of employment background screening, a slight decrease from 96 percent recorded in the first annual NAPBS background screening survey conducted in June 2017.
  • 86 percent of respondents stated they are screening all full-time employees, a slight increase from 83 percent in 2017.
  • 68 percent of respondents are including part-time employees in their screening process, a slight increase from 67 percent in 2017.

Historic and Sweeping New Jersey Equal Pay Act Takes Effect July 1

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed into law the most “historic” and ”sweeping” equal pay legislation in America – “The Diane B. Allen Equal Pay Act” – to fight gender inequity and support equal pay for women in the state, according to a press release on the Governor’s website.

The legislation amends the LAD to prohibit employers from discriminating against employees who are members of a protected class and paying compensation rates less than rates paid to employees not in a protected class for substantially similar work when viewed as a composite skill, effort, and responsibility.

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