The times – and the laws – they are a-changing’.
Nevada is the first state to place restrictions on pre-employment marijuana drug tests. Under Assembly Bill (AB) 132, which took effect January 1, Nevada employers cannot refuse to hire anyone because the results of their screening tests showed the presence of marijuana. It gives those who test positive for the drug the right to rebut original test results by submitting an additional screening test within 30 days of employment.
There are some exceptions; namely:
- Emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and
- Positions that require the operation of a motor vehicle or could impact the safety of others.
AB 132 also does not apply to jobs funded by a federal grant (unless they fall under the auspices of the Drug Free Workplace Act) or if it contradicts the provisions of an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement (CBA) or is inconsistent with the provisions of federal law.
The Big Apple Follows Suit
Following a growing trend of states and municipalities easing up on cannabis-related employment restrictions, the New York City Council last April passed bill Int. 1445-A by a resounding 40-4 vote. The bill further expands protections for job candidates and employees under the city’s Human Rights Law. Similar to the Nevada bill, it prohibits employers from requiring prospective hires to submit to testing for the presence of any tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, as a condition of employment. It also has similar exceptions, including positions that pertain to safety and security, and those tied to federal or state contacts or grants.
The Beginning of the End?
Most states now allow medical marijuana, and a growing number are also legalizing recreational cannabis. Laws like those passed in Nevada and New York City may mean the beginning of the end for a drug test that, for many businesses, has been commonplace for decades.
Be sure to familiarize yourself with the latest cannabis laws wherever your company operates, as well as legal requirements to accommodate workers who may use marijuana. This is also an excellent time to evaluate your current screening program and policy – and make sure they protect your people, your organization, and your brand.
If you need assistance in ensuring compliance, safety, and access to the latest drug testing updates and developments, contact Chane Solutions today. Our team has established itself as a nationwide leader in these areas – and we can customize plans and processes to meet your unique business needs.