On Friday, May 10, New York City adopted a law (Int. 1445-A) prohibiting employers, labor organizations, and employment agencies from conducting pre-employment drug testing for THC, the active ingredient in cannabis and marijuana. The law will become effective on May 10, 2020, which gives New York City employers one year to prepare. There are a number of exceptions to the prohibition on pre-employment testing. The law does not apply to certain safety-sensitive positions, such as:
Additionally, employers are still permitted to engage in THC testing in accordance with:
Seemingly, the law applies to prospective employees only. It is unclear what, if any, impact the law will have on an employers’ ability to test for marijuana and THC after an employee is hired or to test existing employees. We will continue to monitor and provide updated information as soon as the city provides additional guidance. In the meantime, New York City employers that engage in pre-employment should begin to review and modify their practices and policies to exclude marijuana and THC testing for prospective employers.