2019Drug Testing


Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On April 9, 2019, the New York City Council passed a proposed bill – Introduction No. 1445-A – that prohibited New York City employers from requiring job applicants to submit to drug testing for the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (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 local law takes effect one year after it becomes law, so New York City employers must comply with the marijuana drug testing ban by May 10, 2020.

Under the law, 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.

In April 2019, ESR News reported 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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