Updates to Employment Drug Screening in Washington, DC
Washington, DC passed a temporary law that will ban employers from drug testing job applicants. This temporary law comes on the heels of Initiative 71, which passed during mid-term elections in November of 2014. The intention of the authors of Initiative 71 was to make recreational marijuana use legal. The caveat is that Congress is withholding necessary funds to make Initiative 71 a fully functioning law. Election law does not allow a citizen initiative to mandate the expenditure of city funds. A regulatory system (i.e. funding) would be required; hence the hold up on the possession and cultivation for personal use.
How Does This Affect Employers? Workplace Drug Policy vs. Voter Initiatives
In December of 2014, the “Prohibition of Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing Emergency Act of 2014” was passed “to prohibit employers from testing potential employees for marijuana use during the hiring process, unless otherwise required by law.” (Source: DC Council) The idea behind this is to ban employers from testing potential employees for marijuana use; to legalize the use of marijuana, protecting citizens from unfair hiring practices and to protect those same citizens from losing out on job opportunities during the applicant process.
*NOTE* This initiative does not stop employers from rescinding offers if a drug test comes back positive later in the employment process.
Steps During Employment Pre-Offer and Beyond
The following points were taken directly from the “Prohibition of Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing Emergency Act of 2014” bill from 2014. (Source: DC Council)
- An employer shall not test a potential employee for marijuana use during the hiring process, unless otherwise required by law.
- Nothing in this section is intended to have any effect on employee compliance with employer workplace drug policies.
- Nothing in this section is intended to require an employer to permit or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale or growing of marijuana in the workplace or at any time during employment.
This temporary Act will expire on 3/18/15, but a permanent law is expected to follow in the coming months.
Have you reviewed your Employee Handbook and Workplace Drug Policy?
Fair Hiring Practices: HR Management & Consulting Solutions
If you need assistance with the pre-offer, hiring and onboarding process, please contact a FosterThomas HR Employment Specialist for assistance.
Our exceptional HR Management Solutions are designed to provide complete and continuous HR compliance, guidance, employee cultivation, training and administration. Gain peace of mind, knowing that your unique human resources needs are being taken care of accurately, by your team of HR experts at FosterThomas HR.
- Gain proactive HR protection & guidance, while benefiting from a best practices approach from HR experts with experience supporting small to mid-sized, non-profits and large companies alike.
- An HR expert who will guide you on which HR policies and programs are needed to remain compliant, as your company approaches threshold levels of growth.
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