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New York City Adopts Law Prohibiting Pre-Employment Testing for Marijuana

In New York City, a law was adopted by administrative action today that prohibits many employers, labor organizations, and employment agencies from conducting pre-employment drug testing for marijuana and THC, the active ingredient in cannabis. The law characterizes these drug tests as "an unlawful discriminatory practice." There are, however, numerous exceptions to the prohibition on pre-employment testing for marijuana. It will be permitted for the following employment positions and/or for the following reasons:

  • Police/law-enforcement officers;
  • Positions requiring construction safety training or OSHA certifications under New York laws;
  • Positions requiring commercial driver's licenses;
  • Positions involving the supervision or care of children, medical patients, or vulnerable persons as defined under New York laws;
  • Other positions with potential to significantly impact health or safety as determined under the regulations to be enacted or identified on the website of the department of citywide administrative services;
  • U.S. Department of Transportation required testing;
  • Testing required under federal contracts or grants;
  • Testing required under federal or state statutes; and
  • Testing required under collective bargaining agreements.

The prohibitions contained in the law will become effective one year from today. As such, employers operating in New York City have one year to review and revise their drug-testing policies and procedures to ensure compliance. In the interim, employers would like to have further guidance on compliance measures, as would be the case if the New York City Commission on Human Rights enacts rules providing more clarification on what types of employers and employees will be covered.

Copyright © by Ballard Spahr LLPNational Law Review, Volume IX, Number 130


About this Author

Louis Chodoff, Labor, Employment, Harassment, Discrimination, Ballard Spahr, Law FIrm

Louis L. Chodoff handles labor and employment law counseling and litigation associated with harassment, discrimination, wage and hour, whistleblower, wrongful discharge, and restrictive covenant disputes.

Mr. Chodoff litigates in state and federal courts as well as in various administrative agencies such as the New Jersey Department of Labor, New Jersey Division on Civil Rights, New Jersey Office of Administrative Law, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He counsels his clients on the employment and labor law implications of...

Tara Humma Litigation Attorney

Tara L. Humma is an associate in the Litigation Department who focuses on labor and employment matters. Tara defends clients in all phases of employment litigation, from initial pleadings, discovery, and motion practice to trial preparation and appeals. She represents employers in hearings before administrative agencies, arbitrators, and hearing officers appointed under contractual grievance procedures. Tara also regularly counsels employers in the application of various state and federal employment laws, civil service regulations, and collective bargaining agreements.

In addition to her experience in private practice, Tara worked in the Office of County Counsel for Camden County, where she represented the county in a variety of litigation matters and prosecuted civil service disciplinary actions before New Jersey's Office of Administrative Law.

Representative Matters

  • Successfully wrote and argued for partial summary judgment on plaintiff's retaliation claim
  • Successfully wrote and argued for reconsideration of the partial denial of summary judgment for wrongful termination claim, and wrote and argued the underlying summary judgment motion
  • Successfully wrote and argued motions for production of plaintiff's social media information


Professional Activities

  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • New Jersey Bar Association
  • Sidney Reitman Employment Law American Inn of Court
  • Camden County Bar Association


Rutgers University School of Law – Camden (J.D. 2012)
Associate Notes Editor and Mentor, Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion, 2011-2012

Saint Joseph's University (B.S., magna cum laude, 2009)


  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Marjoree Peerce Litigator  Criminal Defense Ballard Law FIrm

Marjorie J. Peerce is a litigator, with a practice focus on white collar criminal defense, regulatory matters, and complex civil litigation. In her more than 30 years of practice, she has handled matters across the criminal and regulatory spectrum. She is Co-Managing Partner of the firm's New York Office.

Ms. Peerce appears in New York state and federal courts, as well as in federal districts around the country. She has handled criminal and regulatory investigations concerning, for example, violations of the Internal Revenue Code, securities...