Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
On April 22, 2021, the City Council of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, approved legislation – Bill No. 200625 – that would make it illegal for employers in the city to require prospective employees to submit to drug testing for the presence of marijuana before hiring them for a job. The ordinance will take effect on January 1, 2022.
Signed into law by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney on April 28, 2021, the ban will exempt jobs such as police officer or other law enforcement positions, any position requiring a commercial driver’s license, and any position requiring the supervision or care of children, medical patients, and disabled or other vulnerable individuals.
In addition, the ban on pre-employment marijuana testing does not apply to “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 this Chapter,” according to the ordinance.
The drug testing ban shall not apply to any federal or state statute, regulation, or order that requires drug testing; any contract between the federal government and an employer; or any applicants whose prospective employer is a party to a valid collective bargaining agreement that specifically addresses drug testing of applicants.
The ordinance defines marijuana (also marihuana) as “all forms or varieties of the genus Cannabis, the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture or preparation of the plant, its seeds or resin.” The full text of the ordinance is available here.
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