Blog

 
     

Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing in District of Columbia

By Michael Klazema on 2/5/2015

This Act prohibits employers in the District of Columbia from testing prospective employees for marijuana use until after a conditional offer of employment is made. The only exception to the rule is when drug testing is otherwise required by law.

The ordinance states that nothing in the Act shall be construed to:

  • Affect employee compliance with employer workplace drug policies;
  • Require an employer to permit or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale, or growing of marijuana in the workplace or at any time during employment;
  • Interfere with federal employment contracts; or
  • Prevent the employer from denying a position based on a positive test for marijuana.

The ordinance was passed on an emergency basis and became effective immediately upon the Mayor’s approval on December 18, 2014. However, it is expires no later than March 18, 2015. The Council is working on passing a permanent measure to replace Act 20-525.  A public hearing is scheduled for February 9, 2015 to discuss B21-023, cited as the “Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2015”, and B21-025, cited as the “Prohibition of Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing Act of 2015.”

There are two differences between the currently enrolled ordinance and the new proposed bill. Bill 21-025 is cited as the “Prohibition of Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing Act of 2015.” Also, the new bill eliminates item #4 above that references the prevention of employers from denying a position based on a positive test for marijuana.

Now that some states are legalizing marijuana use, we expect to see more legislation pertaining to pre-employment drug testing. We will report on those laws as they are passed. We will also report on the permanent bill that the District of Columbia passes this year relating to pre-employment drug testing.

You may view D.C. Act 20-525 here: “Prohibition of Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing Emergency Act of 2014”

You may view D.C. Bill B21-025 here: Proposed “Prohibition of Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing Act of 2015

What this update means for you:

  • The District of Columbia is prohibiting employers from testing prospective employees for marijuana until after a conditional offer of employment has been made.
  • This became effective immediately upon the Mayor’s approval, but it expires on March 18, 2015. The council is working on a permanent measure.
  • You should determine whether you have employees in the District.
  • If you do, review the timing of your drug tests with your lawyer.

Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • July 17 — Hourly Employee Screening: What Makes It Unique and Important infographic?Modern employers conduct background checks on most of the people they hire. These checks are most often used to screen full-time salaried workers. Part-timers and hourly employees are typically less likely to face a thorough background check or even go through a background screening at all. According to a survey conducted by HR.com, 67 percent of employers screen all of their part-time employees, compared to 83 percent of their full-time employees.
  • July 17 A Kentucky school district recently decided to stop paying for volunteer background checks. Going forward, volunteers will be expected to cover the cost of their own checks, which is $10 per person.
  • July 12 Seeking fresh employees for businesses, some states seek to reduce the number of people denied employment based on old or nonviolent crimes.
  • July 11 Multinational aerospace company - Safran Group - trusts backgroundchecks.com to screen new hires, The products they manufacture can have major implications for aircraft safety and worldwide security. As such, the company needs to be extremely careful and deliberate about who it trusts to join the organization.
  • July 11 Recently cited for driving too fast? Here’s what a speeding ticket will do to your background check report.
  • July 10

    Could your business be vulnerable to employee theft? Protect yourself with more thorough background checks.


  • July 09 While Social Security Numbers aren’t required for criminal history checks, they can be beneficial. Here’s why.
  • July 05

    In June, Chicago Public Schools came under fire after a Chicago Tribune piece accused the district of not protecting students from sexual abusers. The district has announced plans to run background checks on all employees.


  • July 04 — How important are volunteer background checks? Do they even matter?
    Organizations that rely in part on volunteer labor consistently find themselves asking these questions. The assumption is usually that volunteer background checks are less important than background checks for full-time or part-time employees. According to a CareerBuilder survey from 2016, 72 percent of employers conduct background checks on all employees. A parallel statistic isn’t even available for volunteer checks. They are less common – and less valued.
  • July 03 #MeToo harassment allegations continue to reshape workplaces in every industry. As a result, many companies are looking to safeguard themselves from liability.