NYC Ban on Drug Testing Job Applicants Takes Effect

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer May 18, 2020
New York City skyline

​Most New York City employers are no longer able to drug-test job applicants for marijuana use, under a law that took effect May 10.

We've rounded up resources and articles from SHRM Online and other trusted outlets on the news.

Exceptions for Some Jobs

The new law bans employers from requiring pre-employment testing for marijuana, with exceptions for applicants for police, child care, commercial driving and some other jobs. The measure doesn't stop employers from testing current workers, or from firing them if they test positive.

(NBC New York)

Could Legalization Be Next?

New York state decriminalized marijuana last year, but New Yorkers will have to wait a bit longer for legal recreational weed. Gov. Andrew Cuomo had called on legislators to pursue legalization at the start of the year, but the effort fizzled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(High Times)

New York City Council Passes Ban 40-4

The New York City Council passed the legislation in April 2019 by a veto-proof margin of 40-4.

The law presents employers with some decisions to make, such as determining who performs work that may pose a health or safety risk to themselves or the public, even if only occasionally, and whether or not to drug test for marijuana during the first week of employment, attorneys said.

(SHRM Online)

The State of Marijuana Laws

Employers have been grappling with confusing marijuana laws for years—and the rules are getting tougher to navigate as more states add employment protections. Here's what employers need to know about the changing landscape for weed and the workplace in 2020.  

(SHRM Online)

More Workers Testing Positive

More U.S. workers are testing positive for marijuana, according to the annual Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index. The number of workers and job applicants who tested positive for marijuana climbed 10 percent in 2018 to 2.3 percent. Positive test results for urine testing of marijuana, the most common type of testing done, continue to rise both for the general U.S. workforce and in regulated, safety-sensitive industries.

(SHRM Online)



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