Q: I heard New York City is banning employers from doing pre-employment drug testing for marijuana. What do I need to know?

A: Effective May 10, 2020, New York City employers are prohibited from testing prospective employees for marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinols (the active ingredient in marijuana) as a condition of employment.  The law applies to all prospective employees in New York City, regardless of whether the employer is located in New York City.
Continue Reading New York City Passes Law Prohibiting Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing

Q:  My Company wants to institute a drug testing policy that would automatically disqualify an applicant for employment if they test positive for illegal drugs, including medically-prescribed marijuana. Is this legal?

A.  The law regarding the responsibility of employers to accommodate medical marijuana use continues to evolve as more states pass laws allowing for marijuana use for medical and recreational reasons. In Pennsylvania, for example, the law is silent as to whether an employer can rely upon a positive drug test as a reason to reject the applicant for employment. However, the statute lists specific areas in which employers may prohibit employees from working while under the influence of marijuana – operating or controlling government-controlled chemicals or high-voltage electricity, performing duties at heights or in confined spaces; and performing tasks that threaten the life of the employee or his/her coworkers.  By implication, outside these specified areas, employers may be required to accommodate marijuana use, so long as it does not occur at work.
Continue Reading Zero Tolerance Drug Testing Policies in the Age of Medical Marijuana

More than a year ago we wrote about the intersection of state laws permitting certain medicinal and recreational use of marijuana and employers’ lawful ability to enforce policies prohibiting drug use.  (A Hazy Area of the Law:  The Impact of Medicinal and Recreational Marijuana Laws on Employers.)  At that time, we noted that a Colorado Court of Appeals’ ruling strengthened the position that an employer can lawfully terminate an employee for using medicinal marijuana in violation of its drug policies, even if the employee was not impaired at work and did not use marijuana while at the worksite or during work hours.  The Colorado Supreme Court recently confirmed that proposition, giving employers a big sigh of relief.
Continue Reading Employees Can Be Terminated for Using Marijuana – Even in Colorado