Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
Some U.S. states and cities that legalized or decriminalized marijuana also passed laws that mitigate the negative impact on job applicants that fail workplace drug testing for marijuana despite the fact the drug is still illegal at the federal level and these laws will spread in 2020, according to the “ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends” for 2020 compiled by leading global background check firm Employment Screening Resources® (ESR).
In June of 2019, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed Assembly Bill 132 that will prohibit the denial of employment because of the presence of marijuana in a pre-employment drug test on prospective employees except under certain specific circumstances. AB 132 – which took effect January 1, 2020 – makes Nevada the first state to prohibit denial of employment due to positive marijuana drug test.
In April of 2019, the New York City Council passed Introduction No. 1445-A that prohibited New York City employers from requiring applicants to submit to drug testing for the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, as a condition of employment. The bill became a law on May 10, 2019, so New York City employers must comply with the marijuana drug testing ban by May 10, 2020.
The courts have also ruled on marijuana drug testing. In March 2019, a New Jersey appellate court ruled in a lawsuit between a funeral home and a former employee with cancer that employers cannot automatically fire medical marijuana users for failing a drug test since they may be protected under the state’s Law Against Discrimination (LAD) since New Jersey legalized medical marijuana in 2010.
In December of 2019, Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) jointly announced changes to the provisions of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program which included removing marijuana from the Drugs of Abuse list. Beginning in 2020 Spring Training, natural Cannabinoids (e.g., THC, CBD, and Marijuana) will be removed from the Program’s list of Drugs of Abuse.
Marijuana topped the list of illicit substances detected in drug testing in all workforce categories and specimen types as 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, according to the Quest Diagnostics Drug Testing Index™ that analyzed more than ten million workplace drug test results.
Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) offers pre- and post-employment drug testing solutions for employers and provides a fully integrated electronic solution for substance abuse testing programs with access to more than 10,000 collection facilities and clinics in the United States. To learn more, visit www.esrcheck.com/Background-Checks/Drug-Testing/.
Since 2008, Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) has selected influential and emerging background check trends that have impacted the background screening industry. Each trend for 2020 will be announced via the ESR News Blog and listed on the “ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends” web page available at www.esrcheck.com/Tools-Resources/ESR-Top-Ten-Background-Check-Trends/.
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