When you’re on the lookout for a job in Philadelphia, you could not must move a drug take a look at for marijuana. A brand new metropolis regulation bars many employers from testing job applicants for cannabis use. It took impact Jan. 1.
However there are a number of exemptions to the ordinance and questions on enforcement. When you’re a job applicant or hiring supervisor, right here’s what it is advisable know in regards to the metropolis’s ban on pre-hire marijuana testing.
Medical marijuana is authorized in Pennsylvania, however some people who find themselves prescribed hashish have a tough time touchdown jobs due to drug screenings. Metropolis Councilmember Derek Inexperienced launched the invoice after particularly studying of individuals with autism spectrum dysfunction who struggled to seek out work as a consequence of their medical marijuana use.
“It simply appeared to be contradictory that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is permitting this product for use for people to assist enhance their high quality of life,” stated Inexperienced, a Democrat. “However then that’s additionally limiting their skill to enhance their life by getting gainful employment.”
In April, Council permitted the invoice in a 15-1 vote, with Republican David Oh casting the lone opposing vote. Mayor Jim Kenney signed the invoice into regulation six days later.
Sure. The ordinance applies solely to pre-employment drug screenings. The regulation doesn’t require employers to alter their current office drug insurance policies, so your present employer can nonetheless take a look at you for hashish use.
“What this says is they’ll’t ask you to carry out a drug take a look at, which is a big have a look at your well being and at your bodily fluids, simply to use for a job,” stated Chris Goldstein, regional organizer for the Nationwide Group for the Reform of Marijuana Legal guidelines.
Sure. The regulation applies solely to marijuana testing, so you should still must take a drug take a look at for different substances earlier than you’re employed.
Sure. When you work in regulation enforcement, want a business driver’s license, or supervise youngsters, medical sufferers, individuals with disabilities, or different weak populations, an employer can nonetheless take a look at you for marijuana use as a situation of employment.
There’s additionally a broader class of “any place through which the worker may considerably influence the well being or security of different staff or members of the general public.” A metropolis company would decide whether or not a job meets that standards, in response to the ordinance.
That language creates some grey space that can seemingly be examined in court docket, stated William Roark, who chairs the medical marijuana apply on the Hamburg, Rubin, Mullin, Maxwell & Lupin regulation agency in Lansdale. For instance, utility staff who drive vehicles and restore gasoline leaks “completely” fall into that well being or security class, Roark stated. But it surely’s much less clear whether or not a utility can take a look at job candidates who need to reply the telephones when clients name to report gasoline leaks, he added.
“There very seemingly could also be some positions the place an employer goes to say, ‘I believe this offers with public well being and security, I need to display screen my staff,’ and an worker goes to problem that,” he stated.
Sure. The regulation doesn’t apply to employers with a collective bargaining settlement that particularly addresses pre-employment drug testing. Jobs that require drug screenings below federal or state regulation for security or safety are additionally exempt. Employers which are required to conduct drug assessments to obtain federal contracts or grants are carved out, too.
Sure. The regulation doesn’t specify penalties, however it falls below a piece of Philadelphia code that regulates companies, Inexperienced stated. Underneath that code, first-time offenders can face fines of $150 to $300, with stiffer penalties for repeat offenders, he stated.
It’s nonetheless unclear. The regulation doesn’t specify which metropolis company will implement the regulation, and a spokesperson for the mayor’s workplace didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. Inexperienced stated he believes that it’s going to seemingly be the city’s Labor Department, which usually resolves labor disputes and enforces labor regulation.
Employers can nonetheless take a look at potential staff for marijuana in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, which shouldn’t have such bans, stated Ryan Allen Hancock, an employment lawyer for the Philadelphia-based Willig, Williams & Davidson agency. Neither state requires employers to check for marijuana use, although assessments could also be required to acquire sure skilled licenses, Hancock added.
“The extra that we see the legalization of marijuana, both via leisure or medical, I think about that increasingly more municipalities, cities, and states will reevaluate their hiring insurance policies,” Hancock stated.
In New Jersey, which legalized recreational marijuana, employers can’t refuse to rent, hearth, or self-discipline an worker or applicant just because the individual examined constructive for marijuana, stated Louis L. Chodoff of Ballard Spahr. Nonetheless, state regulation explicitly acknowledges an employer’s proper to keep up a drug-free office and implement insurance policies prohibiting the usage of marijuana throughout work hours, he added.