Just over two years ago in 2016, voters in the State of Nevada approved the legal sale of recreational marijuana to adults aged 21 and older. Most recently, the State of Nevada passed Law AB132 that places restrictions on how employers respond to a positive test for marijuana from a pre-employment drug screen. This Law will go into effect on January 1, 2020.
'The new law is not as cut and dried as the headlines indicate. The State of Nevada did not ban pre-employment drug testing or even testing for marijuana. The new law makes it, in most cases, an unlawful employment practice for an employer to refuse to hire a prospective employee because he or she submitted to a drug screening test and the result indicated the use of marijuana," said Dr. Barry Sample, PhD, Senior Director of Science and Technology for Quest Diagnostics.
Dr. Barry Sample noted some important language to be aware of in Nevada Law AB132.
- The new law only pertains to pre-employment applicant drug screening and excludes testing of current employees.
- Firefighters, EMTs, and drivers are exempt from this law.
- Federally Mandated Testing remains UNCHANGED.
- Employers should define and be able to justify what jobs are "Safety-Sensitive" in their Company.
- Job Applicants may submit to an independent drug screen result within 30 days or the initial drug screen if they wish.
The marijuana positivity rate in combined workforce urine drug testing was 4.0%. This is 40% higher than the national average of 2.3%.
SOURCE: Quest Diagnostics