NYC Employers Prohibited from Conducting Pre-Employment Marijuana Tests

Effective May 10, 2020, it is considered an unlawful discriminatory practice in New York City for employers, labor organizations, or employment agencies to require a job applicant to submit to marijuana testing as a condition to employment.

Exceptions under the law include:

  • positions in law enforcement;
  • certain construction jobs;
  • any position requiring a commercial driver’s license (CDL);
  • positions requiring the supervision or care of children, medical patients, or vulnerable persons; and
  • positions with the “potential to significantly impact the health or safety of employees or members of the public,” as determined by rules promulgated by the City.

Testing is still permitted for:

  • Department of Transportation (Part 40) or state or local drug testing regulations;
  • federal contracts between the federal government and an employer or any grant of federal assistance from the federal government to an employer that mandates drug testing;
  • any federal or state statute, regulation, or order that requires drug testing of prospective employees for purposes of safety or security; and
  • any applicants whose prospective employer is a party to a valid collective bargaining agreement that specifically addresses the pre-employment drug testing of the applicants.

Now is the time – employers should review their existing drug testing or substance abuse policies and determine how to address any applicant or employee’s positive test result for marijuana. For more information, visit:


This information has been prepared by Validity Screening Solutions for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. The content is intended for general information purposes only, and you are urged to consult a lawyer concerning your own situation and any specific legal questions you may have.