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A precedent-setting city law banning pre-employment drug screening for marijuana was passed by the New York City Council on April 9, 2019.
The legislation, Prohibition of drug testing for pre-employment hiring procedures, has been sent to Mayor Bill de Blasio for his expected signature. Once the law is enacted, employers who are hiring prospective employees to work in New York City will have one year to modify their testing policies before it goes into effect.
The bill prohibits private and public employers, labor organizations, employment agencies and their agents from requiring a prospective employee to submit to testing for the presence of tetrahydrocannabinols (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, as a condition of employment in the city. Exceptions are provided for safety- and security-sensitive jobs, and those tied to a federal or state contract or grant.
Under the Compassionate Care Act, medical marijuana is legal in New York State for patients who are certified by medical practitioners as having serious conditions. The state has not legalized recreational use of marijuana.
Exceptions under the law include the following:
The law also does not apply to:
When the law is enacted, the City Commission on Human Rights will be directed to promulgate rules for implementation. Violations will be considered a discriminatory employment practice.
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