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Most Companies Can No Longer Require Employees to be Tested for Marijuana

BY: Chronic Staff | Recent News | November 5, 2021

The New York State Department of Labor says that most companies can no longer discriminate against employees for use of drugs outside the workplace and require them to be tested for marijuana. The public and private sectors are not allowed to test employees for cannabis.

A new law also formally forbade making marijuana use outside of work a terminable offense in most cases, whether an employee works in the office or at home. This is what Employment Lawyer Kim Harding said.

In addition, Harding shared that it is the biggest change that the law created and that it is confirmed in guidance. Employers have to update their policies and make sure that their drug abuse and drug testing policies are now compliant with the law.

There is one pitfall though. Since marijuana is still illegal federally, not all occupations will be covered by state law.

The law would not apply to employees of the federal government and would likely include federal law enforcement and other groups such as commercial drivers, railroad operators, and school bus drivers as per Kim Harding.

Meanwhile, businesses can make their own policies when it comes to cannabis use during work hours or on company property. A company, on the other hand, can fire employees that show reckless behavior as a result of being impaired by cannabis.

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