New York City and Nevada are the first city and state to prohibit employers from considering marijuana in drug screening tests.
Nevada State Law
As of January 2020, employers in Nevada will be prohibited from disqualifying job seekers due to marijuana usage. Governor Steve Sisolak signed Assembly Bill 132 (AB132) into law on June 5, 2019.
AB132 specifies “It is unlawful for any employer in this State to fail or refuse to hire a prospective employee because the prospective employee submitted to a screening test and the results of the screening test indicate the presence of marijuana.”
There are exceptions to this law. Employers may still consider evidence of marijuana usage when hiring:
· Emergency Medical Technicians.
· Positions that require the operation of motor vehicles.
· Positions that the employer has reason to believe could “adversely affect the safety of others.”
The law also states that if a new employee is required to go through a drug test within their first 30 days, they have the right to a follow-up screening. The employee must conduct the second screening at their own expense. Once completed, the individual may use the second test to rebut results of the first.
Governor Sisolak spoke in favor of the new law. He said: “As our legal cannabis industry continues to flourish, it’s important to ensure that the door of economic opportunity remains open for all Nevadans. That’s why I was proud to sign AB 132 into law, which contains common-sense exceptions for public safety and transportation professionals.”
New York City Law
The New York City Council voted heavily in favor of Initiative 1445, which prohibits employers from testing applicants and employees for marijuana usage. A vote tally showed that the bill passed with a 40 – 4 count.
This bill specifically covers employment and pre-employment drug testing. It creates the following prohibition: “Except as otherwise provided by law, it shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer, labor organization, employment agency, or agent thereof to require a prospective employee to submit to testing for the presence of any tetrahydrocannabinols in such prospective employee’s system as a condition of employment.”
There are exemptions for certain positions in New York City. Employers who are hiring for the following may still include marijuana when drug screening potential workers:
· Police Officers.
· Emergency responders.
· Positions that require a security clearance under federal or state law.
· Positions that require the operation of heavy equipment or a motorized vehicle.
· Any position for which the federal government requires drug testing that includes marijuana.
· Any position “determined by the commission in consultation with the department of citywide administrative services.”
The law goes into effect in May 2020. Read the bill.
Running Background Checks And Drug Screenings
Every employer is encouraged to run background checks. These reports provide information hiring managers need to make informed decisions and create a safe workplace. Any employer that wishes to run a drug screen as part of their background investigation must first be authorized to do so and then proceed according to laws where they operate.
Backgrounds Online offers 3 levels of drug testing. To learn what services are available, click the plus sign in the Drug Screening section here.
If you have questions about drug testing, background checks or anything else related to screening employees, contractors, applicants and volunteers, please contact us. Our team is experienced and available to assist you Monday through Friday from 5am to 6pm PT.