NYC enacts law prohibiting pre-employment testing for marijuana

The law will go into effect on May 10, 2020, giving NYC employers one year to prepare.

As previously reported, the New York City Council passed a bill on April 9, 2019, to ban pre-employment marijuana drug testing and on May 10, 2019, the bill became law by operation of the NYC legislative process.

The law specifically states "it shall be an unlawful discriminatory practice" for employers, labor organizations, employment agencies or their agents to require prospective employees "to submit to testing for the presence of any tetrahydrocannabinols or marijuana in such prospective employee's system as a condition of employment."

According to the law firm Ballard Spahr, there are numerous exceptions to the law, including the permissions for the following employment positions and/or reasons:

  • Police/law-enforcement officers;
  • Positions requiring construction safety training or OSHA certifications under New York laws;
  • Positions requiring commercial driver's licenses;
  • Positions involving the supervision or care of children, medical patients, or vulnerable persons as defined under New York laws;
  • Other positions with the potential to significantly impact health or safety as determined under regulations to be enacted or identified on the website of the department of citywide administrative services;
  • U.S. Department of Transportation required testing;
  • Testing required under federal contracts or grants;
  • Testing required under federal or state statutes; and
  • Testing required under collective bargaining agreements.

Source: Ballard Spahr, LLP, 5/10/2019

Posted: May 16, 2019