New York City bans marijuana drug testing

According to a new local bill, Introduction No.1445-A, New York City employers will ban marijuana drug testing.

Specifically, the bill “prohibits New York City employers from requiring a prospective employee to submit to testing for the presence of any tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, in such prospective employee’s system as a condition of employment”.

Job applicants may still undergo drug testing for marijuana if it is required by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), federal contracts or grants, federal or state statutes, or collective bargaining agreements. The law also provides exceptions for safety and security sensitive jobs.

Jobs where applicants can still be tested for marijuana include construction workers, police officers, commercial drivers, teachers, day care center employees, any job requiring the supervision or care of patients, and any job that can significantly impact the health or safety of employees or the public.

The bill puts New York in relatively uncharted territory as the city takes steps closer to cannabis legalization. Even states where cannabis is currently legal do not have such a restriction on employers.

Employers must comply with the ban by May 10, 2020.

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