Beginning on January 1, 2020, the state of Nevada will prohibit employers in that state from testing new hires for marijuana use. Nevada becomes the first state to ban pre-employment drug testing for the substance. This new law should serve as an alert to employers not only in Nevada but across the nation. With the slow decriminalization of marijuana occurring in the US, and a more accepting social stance on the issue of marijuana use, employers should expect similar laws expanding to a locale near you.
Even though marijuana use is still illegal at the federal level, 33 states have legalized medical marijuana use and 10 states have also legalized recreational use, including Nevada. Because of this growing trend towards legalization, more employers are facing difficulty in finding qualified candidates who can pass a drug screening for marijuana. With a focus on creating jobs, many legislators consider marijuana testing just another barrier to employment that does not need to exist.
Lawmakers in New York City have recently passed similar legislation affecting employers in that city. Like the new law in NYC, Nevada does carve out some exceptions to the legislation. Some examples where employers may continue to screen for marijuana include police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and other safety sensitive positions. Any jobs with the federal government would also be exempt from this law.
Employers in Nevada and New York City are advised to begin preparation to comply with these new laws by reviewing all hiring procedures. Employers outside of Nevada and New York City, but are in one of the 10 states with legalized recreational use of marijuana, may want to consider preparing for what seems inevitable change. Consulting with legal professionals before making any changes is always advised.
Effective and comprehensive drug screening can still be a valuable tool in creating a productive and safe workplace for employees, regardless if you test for marijuana. Considering the high costs of a bad hiring decision, a drug screening can help provide a more complete picture of a candidate before committing the time and resources on bringing them into your organization.
IntelliCorp now offers a drug screening solution that makes it easy for our clients to get the information they require to make the best hire. It also offers the convenience their applicants expect which gives the very best of impressions for your on-boarding process.