Nevada Will Ban Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing On January 1, 2020

Jackson Lewis P.C.
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Beginning on January 1, 2020, it will be illegal to conduct pre-employment drug testing for marijuana in the state of Nevada. Assembly Bill No. 132 was signed into law by the governor on June 5, 2019. This makes Nevada the first state to enact such a law (although New York City became the first city to enact such a law, as we discussed in previous blog posts).

The law provides that it “is unlawful for any employer in this State to fail or refuse to hire a prospective employee because the employee submitted to a screening test and the results of the screening test indicate the presence of marijuana.” A “screening test” is defined to mean a test of a person’s blood, urine, hair or saliva to detect the general presence of a controlled substance or any other drug. The law does not apply to applicants who apply for positions as firefighters, emergency medical technicans, operators of motor vehicles who are required to submit to drug tests, or other positions that “in the determination of the employer, could adversely affect the safety of others.”

The law further provides that if an employer requires an employee to submit to a drug test within the first 30 days of employment, the employee shall have the right to submit to an additional drug test, at his or her own expense, to rebut the results of the initial test. The employer “shall accept and give appropriate consideration to the result of such a screening test.”

The law does not apply if it conflicts with the provisions of an employment contract or a collective bargaining agreement, or if it is inconsistent with provisions of federal law, and further does not apply to positions funded by a federal grant.

Employers should review and revise their pre-employment drug testing policies prior to January 1, 2020. In addition to removing marijuana from the testing panel, employers should review their job descriptions to determine which positions may be exempt from the law because they “could adversely affect the safety of others.”

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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