For states that have legalized some form of cannabis use, drug testing policies for employees and workplaces have been a constant source of controversy. Because THC, the main psychoactive constituent of cannabis, can linger in the body long after its effects have worn off, employees can test positive on a drug screening for legal, off-the-clock activity. And with many employers adopting “no tolerance” workplace drug policies, workers have faced sanctions and termination for testing positive for THC, despite showing no indication of drug-impairment on the job.
Hoping to get ahead of the issue before the question of testing employees for legal substances becomes an actual problem, New York City Council’s Progressive Caucus is introducing a bill to bar employers from testing job applicants for THC.
New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams Embraces Common Sense Drug Testing Policy
Councilman Jumaane Williams’ bill aims to end workplace drug tests for THC as a condition of employment. Or at least, for most jobs. Williams’ bill would not apply to safety-sensitive jobs like law enforcement, driving or operating heavy machinery, or anyone working under state or federal contracts. The bill’s carve out is similar to policies recently adopted for public transit workers in Canada.