New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has outlined his plan to legalize recreational marijuana and this has put New York in pole position to become the 11th state where adult-use cannabis is legal. This development has prompted some lawmakers in New York City to draft a bill that seeks to ban employers from conducting marijuana drugs tests before hiring an employee.
Councilman Jumaane D. Williams is the NYC lawmaker who has filed a draft law that will stop marijuana tests from being part of the hiring process in the city.
Councilman Williams feels that the legislators and the city should be creating more avenues through which people can find jobs, but the drugs tests do the opposite by making it harder for jobseekers to get hired.
He adds that pre-employment drugs tests for marijuana should be done away with now that preparations were in advanced stages to legalize recreational cannabis. Why should employers continue to test prospective employees for a substance that will soon legal?
The bill tabled by Williams provides exceptions to this ban on pre-employment drugs tests. People who intend to get jobs where safety and security are paramount, as well as jobs with the federal government or its agencies would not be covered by this ban on pre-employment drugs tests. Additionally, individuals who are required to undergo drugs testing as a condition for securing a grant or contract from the federal government will not use this local law as a reason to skip the required drugs tests.
If passed, the bill will take effect one year from the time of its enactment as part of the city’s laws. This will remove the ambiguity that has been observed in various jurisdictions, such as Massachusetts, where marijuana is legal but an employee can still be fired for testing positive for THC.
It is good that the lawmakers in New York City have been proactive in tabling this bill instead of waiting to take action after recreational cannabis becomes legal across the state. In such a case, there would be a legal grey area since the existing laws permit pre-employment marijuana tests, which would run counter to the freedom granted by the law legalizing recreational pot.
It remains to be seen what form the final bill will take once the Committee on Civil and Human Rights discusses it and presents it to the full council for debate and a vote. Generation Alpha Inc. (OTCQB: GNAL), Global Payout Inc. (OTC: GOHE) and the whole marijuana industry say kudos to Councilman Williams and the other two co-sponsors of this reform that will remove the ambiguity regarding the use of legal cannabis and its effects on one’s prospects of getting hired.
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