May 20 2015 DC Bill Would Bar Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing
The District of Columbia is considering legislation that would bar employers from conducting pre-employment marijuana testing, except as required by law.
The bill—Prohibition of Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing Act of 2015—is scheduled to be discussed at a public hearing on Monday, February 9, 2015.
The District of Columbia City Council recently passed the “Prohibition on Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing Temporary Act of 2014,” which will temporarily prohibit pre-hire marijuana testing until after an individual has been extended a conditional offer of employment. The new legislation would instead prohibit pre-hire marijuana testing altogether.
In December, the D.C. Council adopted a resolution stating that “with the use and possession of marijuana being legalized” (due to the passage of D.C.’s marijuana legalization initiative, which is still undergoing congressional review), “it is imperative that people who choose to use marijuana are not stigmatized when looking for employment.”
According to the resolution (No. 20-712), D.C.’s Director of the Department of Human Resources testified that “a majority of states have regulated or restricted an employer’s ability to require drug testing as a prerequisite for employment.” That statement is misleading; although some states regulate workplace drug testing, the District of Columbia’s bill, if enacted, will become the first law in the nation to prohibit pre-hire drug testing and the only law to specifically limit marijuana testing in an employment context.
Nancy N. Delogu