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New York City Council Passes Bill Limiting Pre-Employment Drug Testing for Marijuana

The New York City Council overwhelmingly passed legislation which would prohibit most City employers from requiring job applicants to submit to drug tests for marijuana use. Specifically, the bill would amend the City’s Fair Chance Act to make it an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer (including employment agencies and their agents) to require a prospective employee to submit to testing for the presence of marijuana as a condition of employment.

Several categories of applicants, primarily those applying to work in areas involving public safety, would be exempt from the law, including: (1) law enforcement personnel; (2) individuals working on construction sites (not just those operating heavy machinery); (3) positions requiring a commercial driver’s license; and (4) positions requiring the supervision or care of children, medical patients or people with disabilities. The bill provides the Commissioner of Citywide Administrative Services wide latitude to make exceptions for positions “with the potential to significantly impact the health or safety of employees or members of the public.” Drug-testing provisions in collective bargaining agreements would be unaffected by the new law, as would pre-employment drug-testing required by federal and state regulations, contracts and grants.

If signed by Mayor Bill De Blasio, the bill would take effect one year after its enactment.

© 2019 Proskauer Rose LLP.


About this Author

Evandro Gigante, Labor Attorney, Proskauer Rose Law FIrm
Senior Counsel

Evandro Gigante is a Senior Counsel in the Labor & Employment Law Department. He represents and counsels clients through a variety of labor and employment matters, including allegations of race, gender, national origin, disability and religious discrimination, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, defamation, and breach of contract. Evandro also counsels employers in connection with reductions in force and wage-and-hour issues, and advises clients on restrictive covenant issues, including, for example, confidentiality, non-compete, and non-solicit agreements. 

Law, Jordan Simon, Labor, Employment

Jordan Simon is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department.  

Prior to joining Proskauer, Jordan attended Cardozo School of Law and served as an associate editor of the Cardozo Law Review and as a senior editor of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Honor Society. While in law school, he interned in the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.