Nevada is the First State to Ban Employers from Testing Job Applicants for Cannabis Use
Starting January 1, 2020, employers in Nevada will no longer be allowed to deny jobs to people who test positive for cannabis use.
In passing the bill, Nevada becomes the first state to ban businesses from screening potential employees for cannabis. This does not mean, however, that Nevada employers can’t demand pre-employment drug testing at all. Instead, if the employer does require potential workers to submit to drug testing, they cannot be discriminated against for cannabis consumption.
This is big news for recreational cannabis consumers and medical marijuana patients alike. Even in most states that have legalized cannabis in some form, employers are still allowed to discriminate against workers who consume cannabis. In some cases, employees can be fired for simply enjoying a legal joint while off duty.
The new regulations do contain some caveats though. People who are applying for safety-critical positions, such as first responders, can continue to be barred from working if they test positive for cannabis consumption. The law will also be void in the case of businesses that are federally funded (since marijuana is still federally prohibited). Also, cannabis prohibition can be included in a collective bargaining agreement or through an employment contract.
So there are lots of ways for employers to stop their employees from consuming cannabis, if they’re really uptight about that sort of thing.
The new law also allows employees to submit a secondary drug test at their own expense if they want to dispute the finding of a primary test. The employer must then take the findings of the second test into consideration.
New York City officials passed a similar bill back in April, making NYC the first city to implement such regulations.