DRUG SCREENING INDEX FOR 2021 FROM THE BACKGROUND BUZZ
January | Pennsylvania: An employee whose medical marijuana card was expired was terminated after testing positive for marijuana on a return-to-duty drug test.
January | National: With marijuana medically legal in 34 states and two territories and for recreational use in 15 states, Washington, D.C., and two territories, the construction industry has been left with questions about how to maintain the safety of all workers.
January | New Jersey: Marijuana has been removed as a Schedule 1 drug and the personal use of cannabis for adults over the age of 21 was legalized.
January | Illinois: 9,210 low-level cannabis convictions were pardoned, and more than 492,000 non-felony cannabis-related arrest records were wiped clean.
February | New Jersey: The New Jersey Supreme Court recently held that the New Jersey Compassionate Use Act does not preclude a disability discrimination claim brought against LAD.
February | New York: With medical marijuana legal in New York and recreational use soon following, employers are facing questions of how to deal with employees who test positive.
February | National: The country saw a very busy year when it came to marijuana laws and updates.
February | National: Marijuana expungement reforms have continued to accelerate, and the legalization movement continues.
February | National: New state marijuana laws should be reflected in workplace policies to avoid problems down the road.
March | New Jersey: Three marijuana reform bills were signed into law in February by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.
March | National: A memorandum has been issued by the Acting Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management regarding drug-free workplace policies.
March | Mississippi: It can be difficult to determine when an employee may be impaired and a drug test is warranted.
March | National: The Meritas U.S. & Canada Cannabis Guide is a comprehensive overview of national, local, and tribal laws affecting the cannabis, hemp, and CBD industries.
April | New York: Legislation was signed into law in New York state that legalizes marijuana for adults and expunges criminal records.
April | Virginia: The medical marijuana law in Virginia has been amended to protect CBD users from employment discipline or discrimination.
April | National: The use of state-authorized marijuana will not be permitted as a valid excuse for a federal drug test with the Department of Transportation.
April | New Mexico: Adults 21 and older now are able to legally use and grow marijuana for recreational purposes.
April | New Mexico and Virginia: Marijuana is now legal for recreational purposes in New Mexico and an ounce of the drug can be lawfully possessed by those 21 and older in Virginia.
May | New York: Three New York laws limit employer action regarding marijuana use by employees.
May | Philadelphia: A new law in Philadelphia would prohibit employers from testing prospective employees for marijuana.
May | New York, Virginia, Colorado: Three states have updated their workplace drug screening policies regarding marijuana use.
May | Virginia: New protections for employees related to the medicinal use of cannabis oil have been signed into law.
May | National: States are continuing to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
May | New York: New York’s off-duty conduct law now explicitly applies to an employee’s off-duty use of cannabis.
May | California: A federal court held that a job applicant did not sufficiently prove that he was disabled.
May | California: An employee filed suit, alleging wrongful termination based on a disability following a positive marijuana test result.
May | Alabama: Alabama has legalized medical cannabis with the passage of the “Darren Wesley ‘Ato’ Hall Compassion Act.
May | Mississippi: A ruling indicates that a citizen initiative to legalize medical marijuana violated the Mississippi Constitution.
June | National: Recreational marijuana is legalized in just a few states across the country, but employers should be mindful of frequently changing guidelines and laws.
June | Alabama: A new marijuana law has legalized medical marijuana in the state.
June | California: Two decisions remind employers that they still have certain rights when it comes to pre-employment drug testing for marijuana.
June | Connecticut: A new law was signed that permits possession and recreational use of cannabis for those 21 and older.
July | National: Amazon will no longer include marijuana in its comprehensive drug screening program for jobs that are not regulated by the DOT.
August | New Mexico: Previous marijuana use is no longer considered a disqualifying factor for getting a job with the Santa Fe Police Department.
August | Puerto Rico: Employment protections in Puerto Rico have been expanded to employees who are registered and licensed medical cannabis patients.
August | Iowa: Iowa is a pro-drug testing state; however, some exceptions do apply.
August | Illinois: With recreational marijuana now legal in Illinois, employers are updating their existing drug testing policies.
Nearly Half of U.S. Adults Have Tried Marijuana
August | National: Forty-nine percent of those responding to a Gallup poll stated that they have tried marijuana.
August | Pennsylvania: Employees in the state can sue their employers for claims under the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act (MMA).
August | New Jersey: New Jersey’s CREAMMA contains protections for New Jersey employees who use recreational cannabis, but also offers drug testing rights to the employer.
August | California: A lawsuit has been dismissed by a U.S. District Court that claimed disability discrimination when an employee was terminated following a positive marijuana test.
August | Illinois: A new marijuana law would include protections for employers and aims to permit marijuana use on personal time, unless impairment is present.
September | New Jersey: The NJ Cannabis Regulatory Commission published its first set of Personal Use Cannabis Rules and employees are not required to conduct physical evaluations.
September | Connecticut: A bill was signed that legalized recreational marijuana use by adults 21 years and older.
September | National: Significant cannabis law changes have taken place in various states, including California, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
October| National: Although cannabis has been legalized in many states across the country, the DOT requires drug and alcohol testing for all workers for five classes of drugs.
October | New York: Guidance published by the NY State Department of Labor reinforces that an employer may take appropriate action against an employee who is under the influence on the job.
November | New York: The NYSDOL has issued guidance that addresses cannabis use, including the interpretation of “impairment” and whether discipline is permissible in the workplace.
November | National: The tight labor market has caused some employers to consider relaxing their drug testing policies.
December | New York: The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act legalizes adult recreational use of marijuana, offers protection for employees and sets regulations for employers.
December | Philadelphia: The majority of employers in Philadelphia are prohibited from requiring prospective employees to undergo testing for the presence of marijuana as a condition of employment.
January | Georgia: The Atlanta major issued an Executive Order suspending pre-employment physical examinations and drug screening requirements for prospective City employees in non-safety positions.
July| National: The CDC has indicated that deaths due to overdose jumped by 29 percent from the year before.
August | National: The 2021 Employer Drug Testing Survey of various industries from construction to healthcare has been released.
August | Tennessee: An employee of Lonza America LLC has won a disability claim that alleged the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
October | National: According to a First Advantage study, post-accident positivity rates rose by 17 percent across all industries.
December | Maryland: Municipal provisions have been approved that suspend pre-employment drug screenings for public employees in non-safety sensitive positions.
December | National: A nationwide plastics shortage has led to a problem for the DOT: Not enough collection cups at drug testing facilities.