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Philadelphia Inches Closer to Certain Drug Testing Limits

There has been a rise in legalizing medicinal and recreational cannabis across the United States. Some areas have expunged records related to marijuana. Others have decriminalized the use of marijuana. It seems attitudes about the drug have changed in the country. Maybe you’ve thought about how this impacts how you approach screening marijuana use for employment purposes.

We’ve been keeping tabs on the topic. Last year we talked about how Virginia passed a law that bans asking about certain marijuana-related offenses. This month we are looking at changes coming to Philadelphia.

Philadelphia’s New Law

Recent legislation in Philadelphia will make it an unlawful employment practice for an employer, labor organization, or employment agency to require a prospective employee to submit to testing for the presence of marijuana as a condition of employment.

There are certain exceptions. This restriction will not apply to candidates applying for jobs in certain professions, including:

  • Law enforcement positions
  • Roles requiring a commercial driver’s license
  • Any position requiring the supervision or care of children, medical patients, disabled, or other vulnerable people
  • Any job where the employee could significantly impact the health and safety of others determined by the city and identified in future regulations.

This restriction will also not apply to drug testing required by:

  • Federal or state law, regulation, or order that requires drug testing of applicants for safety or security purposes
  • Contracts between the federal government and employers or grants awarded by the federal government that require drug testing of applicants as a condition of receiving the contract or grant
  • Valid collective bargaining agreements that specifically address the pre-employment drug testing of applicants

What’s the Timeline?

Philadelphia’s City Council passed the proposed law on April 22, 2021. Mayor Jim Kenney signed the law on April 28, 2021. The law will become effective on January 1, 2022.

Verified Credentials will continue to monitor this legislation. If you think this law might impact your drug testing program, consider speaking with your legal advisor.

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