Starting Jan. 1, 2020, many employers in Nevada won’t be able to consider new hires’ marijuana use. Though many states have legalized medical and recreational marijuana use, Nevada is the first state to curb the use of pre-employment drug testing for the substance.
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Gov. Steve Sisolak recently signed a bill, AB 132, making it unlawful for Nevada employers to refuse to hire job candidates who test positive for marijuana—but not all jobs are covered under the new ban. For instance, employers can still screen and refuse to hire applicants for jobs as drivers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians who test positive for marijuana. Employers also may screen new hires for certain safety-sensitive positions and jobs with the federal government. However, new hires who are required to submit a drug test within the first 30 days of being hired must be allowed to take another test at their own expense.
Review Policies and Practices
Nevada employers should review and revise their pre-employment drug testing policies before the new law takes effect. Employers who drug test new hires should remove marijuana from the testing panel and review job descriptions to determine which positions may be exempt from the ban if employees in those positions “could adversely affect the safety of others.”
Similar Law Passed in New York City
Lawmakers in the Big Apple approved a similar local law that will also take effect in 2020. “Prospective employers don’t test for alcohol, so marijuana should be no different. But in no way does this bill justify individuals going to work under the influence,” said Jumaane Williams, New York City’s public advocate and the legislation’s sponsor.
More States Legalize Marijuana Despite Federal Ban
While marijuana use