And the first state to ban employers from refusing to hire applicants who test positive for marijuana is…


Oh, wait. I meant Nevada.

Details, Eric. Details!

On June 5, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak (D) signed Assembly Bill No. 132 into law, which makes it “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.”

There are some exceptions to the rule for:

  • prospective firefighters,
  • emergency medical technicians,
  • jobs that require an employee to operate a motor vehicle and for which federal or state law requires the employee to submit to a screening test,
  • other safety-sensitive positions (as the employer may determine)

So much for dodging the drug test for my Nevada trapeze act. Kidding.

There are some other caveats too. This new rule will not apply to federally-funded jobs, or if the law otherwise conflicts with federal law. Plus, a collective bargaining agreement will trump this new law too.

What about your current workforce?

Nothing in this legislation will prevent employers from drug testing their current workforce based on reasonable suspicion, or post-accident or the like. But, some of you may be thinking, “I know what I’ll do. I’ll hire, and then I’ll drug test the new employees during orientation.”

Well, here’s the thing about that.

“If an employer requires an employee to submit to a screening test within the first 30 days of employment, the employee shall have the right to submit to an additional screening test, at his or her own expense, to rebut the results of the initial screening test. The employer shall accept and give appropriate consideration to the results of such a screening test.”

Not only is recreational marijuana legal in Nevada (under state law), but don’t forget that Nevada is one of those states in which the employer must provide certain accommodations for medical marijuana users.

Local employers much comply with the new law by January 1, 2020, which is shortly before a similar law in New York City will take effect.


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