Nevada becomes first state to ban employers from refusing job applicants based on failed marijuana test

The law, set to go into effect on Jan. 1, will not apply to EMTs, firefighters and those who drive vehicles.         …

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A positive test for marijuana in pre-employment drug screenings won’t be a problem for most people in Nevada, beginning next year.

Nevada became the first state to approve such a drug test law last week, two years after recreational marijuana sales began in the Silver State. The law will not apply to EMTs, firefighters and those who drive vehicles, however. Employers can also reject job applicants for marijuana drug test results if usage can put others’ safety at risk. 

Starting Jan. 1, employees will also have the right to challenge the results of an initial drug screening test if employers require one within the first 30 days of hiring. Employers then must consider the second screening test paid for by the employee, the law states. 

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Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak signed the bill on June 5 after state lawmakers approved it. Nevada voters approved the legal sale of recreational marijuana to those 21 and older in 2016

The New York City Council passed a similar law prohibiting employers from testing applicants for marijuana usage in April. Maine does not allow employers, schools or landlords to discriminate against people for marijuana consumption, but the state does not have a law on drug testing on the books. 

State laws for workplace drug testing vary, but companies typically must tell applicants or employees about their policies. 

Nationally, about 2.8% of urine-based workplace drug screenings tested positively for marijuana in 2018, according to Quest Diagnostics, a drug-testing service. Marijuana is also the most commonly detected illicit drug, according to the service. 

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