Nevada Sets Precedent with its First-In-The-Nation Marijuana Rule for Employers

Failed marijuana tests can no longer be a reason for not hiring someone in Nevada.

On June 11, Nevada became the first state in the U.S. to tell employers they could not refuse a new hire who tested positive for marijuana. The rules come as part of Nevada’s AB 132, which goes into effect on January 2020.

The bill includes a few exceptions.

Those seeking jobs as firefighters or EMTs will still be subject to marijuana testing. Those applying for jobs which include driving a motor vehicle must not test positive. And, of course, federal jobs will also still be subject to marijuana testing.

But even those employees required to complete marijuana testing have options under this new law. New hires required to submit to screening within their first 30 days can get a do-over. They will be able to opt for a second test, at their own expense.

Nevada OK’d recreational marijuana in 2016. And today, more than 30 other states have given the go-ahead to marijuana use in some form. But making those changing drug laws compatible in the workplace? That’s a feat plenty still wrestle with.

Most laws don’t prohibit a drug-free workplace, but they do vary. Only one state—the state of Maine—has expressly protected an employee’s right to use recreational marijuana when off-duty. And the crowd of other on-going trends and developments suggest that the issue is still evolving.

For example, New York City banned marijuana testing in the workplace. But their law has a lengthy list of exceptions. Experts predict city officials will clarify the rule when it goes into effect May 10, 2020.

No one knows what will happen next. But here’s what we do know. Drug testing still matters. And drug testing policies matter more now than ever. Don’t let your company policy gather dust.

Need help navigating all this? A good screening partner like ClearStar can help. Contact us today!

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