New York City Council Passes Bill to Ban Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing

May 20, 2019

 

Legislative-Updates

The New York City Council recently passed a bill that, if signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, would prohibit most New York City employers from requiring job applicants to submit to drug tests for marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinol (the active ingredient in marijuana, also known as “THC”) use as a condition of employment, with certain exceptions. The bill would amend the New York City Fair Chance Act, which bans New York City employers from asking about job applicants’ criminal records before extending an offer of employment. Upon the Mayor’s signature, the bill would become effective in one year.

The bill prohibits employers from “requiring a prospective employee to submit to testing . . . as a condition of employment.” This bill, unlike other states, would prohibit marijuana testing any time before hire. Exceptions are provided for safety and security sensitive jobs, and those tied to a federal/state contract or grant.

Notably, the bill would not prohibit New York City employers from testing current employees for marijuana. Therefore, while certain employees in New York City may not have to submit to testing to obtain employment, they may still be subject to testing to remain employed.

Given the rapidly-changing landscape in this area, including the protections for the use of medical and recreational marijuana and its derivatives, companies are reassessing whether to require drug testing for applicants and employees. Although the bill in New York City may be a trailblazer, it is likely not the last.

 

 

This information has been prepared by Validity Screening Solutions for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. The content is intended for general information purposes only, and you are urged to consult a lawyer concerning your own situation and any specific legal questions you may have.

Topics: Background Checks, Compliance



Jessica L. Troncoso, J.D.

Written by Jessica L. Troncoso, J.D.

Jessica focuses on Validity’s knowledge base of all laws, statutes, and enforcement actions regulating the employment screening industry. Jessica began in the Quality Assurance Department of Validity in 2012 and later worked remotely with the Research Department while attending law school. Jessica worked as a Judicial Extern for the Honorable Brian C. Wimes of the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri and the Honorable Peggy Stevens McGraw of the 16th Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri.