Nevada Becomes First State to Prohibit Denial of Employment Due to Positive Marijuana Drug Tests

Marijuana Drug Test

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On June 5, 2019, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed 60 bills that included Assembly Bill 132 (AB 132) that will prohibit the denial of employment because of the presence of marijuana in a pre-employment drug test taken by a prospective employee except under certain specific circumstances.

AB 132 – which takes effect on January 1, 2020 – will amend Chapter 613 which covers “Employment Practices” in the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) by adding a new section. The provisions of AB 132 do not apply if the prospective employee is applying for a position:

  • As a firefighter;
  • As an emergency medical technician;
  • That requires an employee to operate a motor vehicle and for which federal or state law requires the employee to submit to screening tests; or
  • That, in the determination of the employer, could adversely affect the safety of others.

AB 132 also provides that if employers require employees to submit to a drug test within the first 30 days of employment, employers must give appropriate consideration to the results of an additional drug test that employees submit at their own expense. The full text of AB 132 is available here.

Nevada is not alone is changing laws for marijuana drug tests. In April of 2019, the New York City Council passed a bill that will prohibit employers from requiring job applicants to submit to drug testing for the presence of tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, as a condition of employment.

Since Introduction No. 1445-A was not signed or vetoed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio within 30 days of its passage, the bill became a law on May 10, 2019. The law takes effect one year after approval, so New York City employers must comply with the marijuana drug testing ban by May 10, 2020.

Also in of April 2019, ESR News reported that the drug testing positivity rate for the U.S. workforce hit a fourteen-year high in 2018 – 4.4 percent in 2018 versus 4.2 percent in 2017 – and climbed to the highest level since the 4.5 percent attained in 2004, according to analysis released by Quest Diagnostics.

The findings of the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ – which were taken from an analysis more than ten million workplace drug test results – revealed the U.S. workforce drug testing positivity rate is more than 25 percent higher than the thirty-year low of 3.5 percent recorded between 2010 and 2012.

Marijuana topped the list of illicit substances most commonly detected in drug testing in all workforce categories and specimen types. The rate of marijuana drug testing positivity for the U.S. workforce increased nearly eight percent in urine testing, from 2.6 percent in 2017 to 2.8 percent in 2018.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check provider – offers a fully integrated electronic drug test solution that takes into account laws for the medical and recreational use of marijuana by workers. To learn more, visit www.esrcheck.com/Background-Checks/Drug-Testing/.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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