In a historic move, Nevada employers will no longer be able to deny jobs to candidates that test positive for marijuana drug tests. The measure goes into full effect starting January 1, 2020, when Nevada will become the first state to pass a law of this nature.
The legislation, signed by Gov. Steve Sisolak last week, does make exceptions for some jobs. Those applying for jobs that require the operation of a motor vehicle will still be subject to employment refusal if they test positive for marijuana. Same goes for firefighters, EMTS, or jobs where others’ safety could be in danger.
“It is unlawful for any employer in this State to fail or refuse to hire a prospective employee because the prospective employee submitted to a screening test and the results of the screening test indicate the presence of marijuana,” states the law.
This is significant news, as states where even marijuana is recreationally legal can still discriminate against cannabis users. New York City passed a similar measure earlier this year, perhaps signaling an end to marijuana testing moving forward.
That said, Nevada’s bill will not stop pre-employment drug testing all together. An employer can still screen would-be employees, but candidates now have the option to submit an additional screening test to rebuke any results. In that case, employers must accept these follow-up test results, the law stipulates.
“As our legal cannabis industry continues to flourish, it’s important to ensure that the door of economic opportunity remains open for all Nevadans,” said Gov. Sisolak. “That’s why I was proud to sign AB132 into law, which contains common-sense exceptions for public safety and transportation professionals.”