2020Drug Testing

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On May 10, 2020, a law passed by the New York City Council – Int. No. 1445-A – will take effect and prohibit employers in New York City from requiring prospective employees to submit to drug testing for the active ingredient in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), in their system as a condition of employment.

Int. No. 1445-A will amend the administrative code of the city of New York to make it “an unlawful discriminatory practice for employers, labor organization, employment agency, or agent thereof” to require prospective employees to submit to marijuana drug testing. Exceptions to the law will include people applying to work:

  • As police officers or peace officers, as those terms are defined in subdivisions 33 and 34 of section 1.20 of the criminal procedure law, respectively, or in a position with a law enforcement or investigative function at the department of investigation.
  • In any position requiring compliance with section 3321 of the New York city building code or section 220-h of the labor law.
  • In any position requiring a commercial driver’s license.
  • In any position requiring the supervision or care of children, medical patients or vulnerable persons as defined in paragraph 15 of section 488 of the social services law.
  • In any position with the potential to significantly impact the health or safety of employees or members of the public, as determined by: (i) the commissioner of citywide administrative services for the classified service of the city of New York, and identified on the website of the department of citywide administrative services or (ii) the chairperson, and identified in regulations promulgated by the commission.

The law will not apply to drug testing required by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations, New York State or New York City Department of Transportation regulations, contracts between the federal government and employers, or grants of financial assistance from the federal government to employers.

In addition, Int. No. 1445-A does not apply to drug testing required any Federal or State “statute, regulation, or order that requires drug testing of prospective employees for purposes of safety or security,” or valid collective bargaining agreements that specifically address pre-employment drug testing.

The New York City Council passed the marijuana drug test ban on April 9, 2019. Since the bill was not signed or vetoed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio within 30 days of passage, it became a law on May 10, 2019. The local law will take effect one year after it became a law, so Int. No. 1445-A takes effect on May 10, 2020.

Despite the fact that marijuana is illegal at the federal level, several states and cities in America that have legalized or decriminalized marijuana have also passed laws that mitigate the impact against job applicants that fail drug testing with positive results for marijuana, and this trend will continue into 2020.

Laws that mitigate the impact of positive drug tests for marijuana are spreading as states and cities pass laws allowing for the medical or recreational use of marijuana and employers must watch this trend closely, according to the “ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends” for 2020 compiled by Employment Screening Resources® (ESR).

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check provider – offers a fully integrated electronic drug testing 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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