What is the Influence of New York City’s Ban on Pre-Employment THC Testing?



Job applicants who use cannabis in New York City and Nevada can breathe simpler more than current legislation guarding their ideal to consume.

This previous spring, New York City took a progressive step forward when it enacted a law prohibiting most employers from screening applicants for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The measure was adopted Might 10, 2019, and goes into law 1 year from that date. 

Nevada followed suit the subsequent month. The initial-of-its-sort statewide ban on pre-employment THC testing comes two years just after Nevada passed adult-use legalization. Like New York City, the bill will go into impact 1 year just after its enactment.

Some would contemplate adding Maine to the list as nicely. The state’s adult-use laws basically ban the practice. Below Maine state regulations, organizations are prohibited from turning away applicants or firing staff for a good cannabis test. 

Each bills mark important methods in cannabis rights and workplace acceptance. No longer can applicants or current hires be subjected to screenings for substances that are completely legalized or decriminalized. 

The law does come with stipulations that applicants will need to be conscious of. Joe McNelis, an associate at the labor and employment law practice Fox Rothschild, pointed out that only job applicants are impacted by the law. “This law does not impact present staff, and especially states that it applies to ‘prospective staff.’” 

Each New York City and Nevada excluded quite a few careers from the impending ban as nicely. Nevada created exemptions for public security positions and other roles that call for federal drug testing. In the 5 boroughs, such exemptions include things like law enforcement, building and upkeep jobs. Other individuals, such as roles requiring a industrial driver’s license (CDL), or caring for young children or healthcare individuals, are also excluded. 

Other jobs could nevertheless be eligible for drug screening, according to McNelis. He singled out a “catch-all provision” in New York City’s law. Per the regulations, the provision can include things like any roles that can have a important influence on staff or the public. These exceptions will be determined by the city’s Division of Citywide Administrative Solutions. 

McNelis went on to list other doable exceptions below the law. They include things like:

  • Transportation roles which call for drug testing below U.S. Division of Transportation regulations. 
  • Roles requiring pre-employment federal drug testing 
  • Pre-employment drug testing essential by an employer for federal economic help
  • Any drug tests essential by potential staff below any other federal statute or regulation for the objective of security or safety
  • Potential staff essential to undergo pre-employment screenings per a collective bargaining agreement

The choices by New York City and Nevada have been met with praise by these we spoke to. Katie Ziskind is a licensed marriage and family members therapist. She stated, “Marijuana is some thing that so several Americans use now, that it is basically pointless to not employ somebody for the reason that they come up good.” 

Labor and employment lawyer Jonathan Bell cited cannabis’ expanding acceptance for the adjust in city law. He compared cannabis to a legal, however addictive substance to push back on pre-employment screenings. “New York City employers do not test potential staff for alcohol use, so marijuana should really not be treated any differently.”

Tonisha “Dr. Toni” Pinckney, Ph.D. is the owner of the danger, crisis and method firm Revelatus Specialized Accounting &amp Consulting, LLC. Dr. Toni has more than 15 years of expertise functioning with low-revenue, disabled and veteran populations. Her perform extends to victims and offenders in the criminal justice method. She believes the chance applicants get to develop and advance themselves is the most important advantage to come from the law. 

She believes removing drug screenings assists employ persons hoping to re-enter the workforce just after prison. “By removing the testing, a individual can a lot more simply return to the workforce, enabling them to lower the gap involving social targets and the implies to accomplish these targets.”

After employed, Dr. Toni says the added benefits of steady perform should really begin to come to light in important strategies. “A steady job is a step toward several types of recovery, be it an addiction, economic, or mental wellness.”

Employers in New York City and Nevada have some time to prepare for the adjust. Even though, they will not will need to make a lot of an work to adapt. 

Rahool Patel, Esq. leads the cannabis practice at New Jersey’s Ansell Grimm &amp Aaron. Patel recommended organizations seek advice from with an lawyer to guarantee organization policies and procedures are compliant for when the new law requires impact. Patel stated, “As legal specifications are frequently altering, it is crucial you keep up-to-date for the reason that some thing permitted two years ago might no longer be permitted.”

Organizations across the nation might not wait for their states to pass related measures. Although cannabis might be element of their choice creating, hiring talent for certain roles might be the major concern for organizations. Human sources software program organization Zenefits wrote that “many employers across the nation are dropping or rethinking pre-employment drug testing for the reason that they do not want to remove candidates for really hard to fill jobs.”


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