Marijuana Drug Testing On New York City Employees May Soon Be Illegal


Written By:  CoreScreening Blog Editor Jill Eden

New York City Council passed a bill that bans most employers from testing for marijuana.  On April 9, 2019, the city council passed a bill by a 40-to-4 vote that would prohibit public and private employers in New York City, including employers with headquarters outside of New York City, from making employment decisions based upon the positive results of marijuana from a drug test.  In addition, the council also passed a bill that would prohibit the city from requiring marijuana testing for people on probation.

A spokesperson for the New York City mayor, Olivia Lapeyrolerie, has said that the mayor’s administration fully supports this new employment bill.  The new law will take effect one year after it is signed into law by the mayor (around May 2020). If passed, this law will be the first of its kind in the nation.

It is important to note that not all employee types will be exempt from screening for marijuana if the bill becomes law. Exemptions include:

  • Workers that appear to be under the influence of marijuana at work (With Cause).
  • Certain safety sensitive industries that include law enforcement, construction, as well as supervising medical patients and working with children.
  • Federal and state employees or contractors under the city’s jurisdiction.
  • Transportation Workers (e.g., truckers, pilots, cab drivers).


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