Last year, The True Negative covered the implications of New York City’s ban on pre-employment weed testing. Starting January 1, 2022, Philadelphia will join New York City, Atlanta, and Washington D.C. in banning pre-employment weed testing. Do you work in Philadelphia? Here’s what you need to know:
What is the bill in a nutshell?
The bill, Bill No. 200625 will “prohibit employers from requiring prospective employees to undergo testing for the presence of marijuana as a condition of employment, under certain terms and conditions.” In other words, you cannot ask be asked to take a drug test for weed where you must test positive in order to be given the job.
When does this bill go into effect?
The bill was signed on April 22, 2021 and goes into effect on January 1, 2022
What are these “terms and conditions?”
As always, certain jobs are exempt from laws such as this. Specifically, those that are tied to state or federal regulation (since recreational weed is not legal in Pennsylvania or at the federal level), jobs where drug use is seen as a threat to public safety, and union jobs where the union agreed to pre-employment drug testing. The bill lists these types of jobs:
• Any federal or state statute, regulation, or order that requires drug testing of prospective employees for purposes of safety or security
• Any contract between the federal government and an employer or any grant of financial assistance from the federal government to an employer that requires drug testing of prospective employees as a condition of receiving the contract or grant
• Any applicants whose prospective employer is a party to a valid collective bargaining agreement that specifically addresses the pre-employment drug testing of such applicants
• Police officer or other law enforcement positions
• Any position requiring a commercial driver’s license
• Any position requiring the supervision or care of children, medical patients, disabled or other vulnerable individuals
• Any position in which the employee could significantly impact the health or safety of other employees or members of the public, as determined by the enforcement agency and set forth in regulations pursuant to this
Can I still be drug tested?
Yes, here are all of the reasons you may still be drug tested:
1) If your job falls into the category of any of the jobs described above, you can still be drug tested
2) This bill only bans pre-employment drug testing for weed. You can still be drug tested for other substances
3) This bill does not ban drug testing on the job. If you’re hired and your employer has a reason to think that your drug use has caused an accident in the workplace or is interfering with your performance, you can still be drug tested
Is recreational weed legal in Pennsylvania?
No, only medical marijuana is legal
Is recreational weed legal in Philadelphia
No, but Philadelphia has decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana
Will recreational weed be legal in Pennsylvania soon?
In March 2021, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf publicly stated that he supports the legalization of recreational weed in Pennsylvania. This came after a report from the Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor that 65-70% of Pennsylvanians support recreational weed legalization, primarily due to its potential to create revenue for the state. Additionally, earlier this year, New Jersey became the 14th state to legalize recreational weed, which may either put pressure on Pennsylvania to adapt or make the ban on recreational weed in Pennsylvania pointless if people can cross state borders to legally buy weed
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