The Philadelphia city council has overwhelmingly voted in favor of Bill No. 200625, which prohibits pre-employment drug testing for cannabis. Assuming Philadelphia’s Mayor Jim Kenney signs the bill into law as he is expected to, the law will take effect on January 1, 2022.
This law will prohibit pre-employment cannabis testing by most employers; however, there are some exceptions—employees working in safety-sensitive positions, including police officers, childcare workers, and those supervising medical patients. Also excluded from the new legislation would be those who are required to be tested by federal drug testing guidelines.
This large step follows suit with other major cities, including Washington, DC, Atlanta, and New York who have also chosen to limit employers’ ability to test most employees for off-the-job cannabis use.
Assuming the bill passes into law as it is expected to employers will need to take a look at their current drug testing policies to judge who may or may not qualify as working in a safety-sensitive position.