The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDL) recently issued guidance prohibiting New York employers from drug screening most workers for cannabis.
The guidance states that the use of cannabis is legal under the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), which was signed into law by former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in March.
Under the NYSDL guidance, “employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees based on the employee’s use of cannabis outside of the workplace, outside of work hours, and without the use of the employer’s equipment or property.” However, employers can still ban the use of cannabis during “work hours” or the possession of the substance at work.
Marissa Mastroianni, an attorney from the Cannabis Law Group at Cole Schotz, told Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary that the NYSDL’s guidance is “precedent-setting.”
“This is really the first state to ban altogether testing for cannabis use unless in very limited circumstances,” Mastroianni said. “This is definitely big news for any employer that has employees in New York state because you don’t just have to be a New York employer to be covered by this.”
The new law applies to anyone employed in the state of New York. Whether someone is an out-of-state employer