Philly to Ban Use of Positive Marijuana Test for Employment Decisions

December 17, 2021

Effective January 1, 2022, Philadelphia will follow New York City, and the State of Nevada in not allowing employers to take adverse action against job applicants who test positive for Marijuana.

Specifically, the state of Nevada prohibits employers from taking adverse action against job applicants who test positive for marijuana. Alternately, the City of New York bars employers from requiring applicants to submit to testing for Marijuana. Philadelphia will follow the city of New York’s framework which prevents employers for testing applicants for Marijuana use in the first place.

There are, of course, exceptions in the Philly law for safety-sensitive positions and motor vehicle drivers who are subjected to testing for Marijuana under state and/or federal law, such as:
• Police officer or other law enforcement positions;
• Any position requiring a commercial driver’s license;
• Any position requiring the supervision of care of children, medical patients, disabled, or other vulnerable individuals;
• Any position in which the employee could significantly impact the health or safety of other employees or members of the public, as determined by the enforcement agency and set forth in regulations pursuant to the ordinance.

The new Philly law does not apply to drug testing required pursuant to:
• Any federal or state statute, regulation, or order that requires drug testing of prospective employees for purposes of safety or security;
• Any contract between the federal government and an employer or any grant of financial assistance from the federal government to an employer that requires drug testing of prospective employees as a condition of receiving the contract or grant; or
• Any applicants whose prospective employer is a party to a valid collective bargaining agreement that specifically addresses the pre-employment drug testing of such applicants.

Furthermore, state recreational marijuana laws passed this year in New York (state), on April 1, 2021 and New Jersey, on February 22, 2021, essentially prohibit pre-employment testing in these states.
With the number of states allowing the legal use of marijuana growing year after year, employers should take notice and reassess their drug testing program at least quarterly.

Frasco® Profiles is NOT a law firm. The information contained in this post is for general informational purposes only. We are not providing legal advice and strongly recommend consulting with your legal resources before taking any action.

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