Nevada Employer Drug Testing Policies Need Updated As State Bans Employers Refusing to Hire Those Who Fail Marijuana Tests
According to the new law that is taking effect in 2020, “It is unlawful for any employer in [Nevada] 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.”
With this law, Nevada becomes the first state to pass a law where employers cannot refuse to hire a job applicant for failing a marijuana screening test.
Due to marijuana being a Schedule 1 drug, many federally regulated employees within companies must test for marijuana and hold those who test positive accountable under federal mandates. These workers include commercial truck drivers, air line pilots and flight attendants, railroad engineers and conductors, workers in nuclear power plants, and many others in safety-sensitive positions.
If you are a subcontract you are already aware that many and most general contractors require that you have in place a drug testing program that follows the federal standards and that includes testing for marijuana.
In other words, the law does not apply to firefighters, EMTs, employees who operate a motor vehicle, or those who, in the determination of the employer, could adversely affect others’ safety.
If an employer requires a new hire to take a screening test, then the new employee has the right to submit to an additional screening test to rebut the results, the law states. The employer must accept that follow-up test, the law says.
Other similar laws include the New York City Council that passed a bill in April banning employers from requiring a prospective employee to pass a marijuana screening test as a condition of employment. When Maine legalized recreational marijuana, employers cannot discriminate based on marijuana usage, but there are no laws about drug testing.
Employer drug testing policies need to be specific on who you will drug test and when. Your company could also remove immediately firing someone due to a positive drug test for marijuana and provide an Employee Assistance Program to help them from potential abuse or addition, whether the employee pays for it or the company does.
Finally, provide educational materials on the actual effects of marijuana to a person’s body and how it can negatively affect the workplace. Being open with your employees on why the drug and alcohol policies are in place is very important.