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DRUG SCREENING INDEX FOR 2021 FROM THE BACKGROUND BUZZ


Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana User May Proceed with Disability Discrimination and Retaliation Claims 

January | Pennsylvania: An employee whose medical marijuana card was expired was terminated after testing positive for marijuana on a return-to-duty drug test. 

 

Construction Industry’s Emerging Best Practices for Navigating the Haze of Marijuana Legalization

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. 

 

New Jersey’s Legislation of Recreational Cannabis Use Includes Critical Employee Protections, But Leaves Many Questions Unanswered 

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. 

 

Illinois Expunges Neary Half a Million Cannabis Cases as Part of Legalization 

January | Illinois: 9,210 low-level cannabis convictions were pardoned, and more than 492,000 non-felony cannabis-related arrest records were wiped clean. 

 

New Jersey Supreme Court Recognizes Potential Disability Claim Based on Medicinal Marijuana Use 

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. 

 

The Cannabis Conundrum: A Warning for Employers 

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. 

 

Drug Testing Legislation in 2020: A Look Back 

February | National: The country saw a very busy year when it came to marijuana laws and updates. 

 

Marijuana Expungement Accelerates in 2020

February | National: Marijuana expungement reforms have continued to accelerate, and the legalization movement continues. 

 

Employers and Legal Marijuana 

February | National:  New state marijuana laws should be reflected in workplace policies to avoid problems down the road. 

 

How New Jersey’s Recreational Marijuana Law Significantly Affects Workplace Drug Testing 

March | New Jersey: Three marijuana reform bills were signed into law in February by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy. 

 

U.S. Office of Personal Management Provides Guidance to Federal Agencies on Consideration of Marijuana Use in Hiring Decisions 

March | National: A memorandum has been issued by the Acting Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management regarding drug-free workplace policies. 

 

Medical Marijuana and the Construction Industry: Effective Drug Testing Policy and Compliance 

March | Mississippi: It can be difficult to determine when an employee may be impaired and a drug test is warranted. 

 

Cannabis Guide for the USA & Canada January 2021

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. 

 

New York Legalizes Recreational Marijuana, Expunges Former Pot Conviction

April | New York: Legislation was signed into law in New York state that legalizes marijuana for adults and expunges criminal records. 

 

Virginia Passes Bill to Protect Medical CBD Users 

April | Virginia: The medical marijuana law in Virginia has been amended to protect CBD users from employment discipline or discrimination. 

 

You Receive a Positive Drug Test Result for Marijuana — Your Employee or Applicant Says They Have a Medical Marijuana Card. What Happens Next? 

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. 

 

New Mexico Just Legalizes Marijuana 

April | New Mexico: Adults 21 and older now are able to legally use and grow marijuana for recreational purposes. 

 

New Marijuana Laws in New Mexico and Virginia 

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. 

 

NY Marijuana Laws — Clearing the Confusion for Employers 

May | New York: Three New York laws limit employer action regarding marijuana use by employees. 

 

Philadelphia Set to Ban Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing: What Employers Need to Know 

May | Philadelphia: A new law in Philadelphia would prohibit employers from testing prospective employees for marijuana. 

 

Weed and the Workplace: Recent Developments in New York, Virginia and Colorado 

May | New York, Virginia, Colorado: Three states have updated their workplace drug screening policies regarding marijuana use.  

 

Virginia Enacts Employment Protections for Medical Use of Cannabis Oil

May | Virginia: New protections for employees related to the medicinal use of cannabis oil have been signed into law. 

 

The Trend Towards Legal Recreational Cannabis: Considerations for Employers 

May | National: States are continuing to legalize marijuana for recreational use. 

 

New York Amends Its Off-Duty Conduct Law to Account for Marijuana Use 

May | New York: New York’s off-duty conduct law now explicitly applies to an employee’s off-duty use of cannabis. 

 

California Court Upholds Employer’s Refusal to Hire Applicant Who Failed Pre-Employment Drug Test Due to Medical Marijuana Use 

May | California: A federal court held that a job applicant did not sufficiently prove that he was disabled. 

 

California District Court Dismisses Disability Claims Based on Failed Preemployment Marijuana Screen 

May | California: An employee filed suit, alleging wrongful termination based on a disability following a positive marijuana test result. 

 

Alabama Legalizes Medical Cannabis 

May | Alabama: Alabama has legalized medical cannabis with the passage of the “Darren Wesley ‘Ato’ Hall Compassion Act. 

 

Loss of Congressional District Dooms Mississippi’s Medical Marijuana Initiative 

May | Mississippi: A ruling indicates that a citizen initiative to legalize medical marijuana violated the Mississippi Constitution. 

 

Can Employees Use Legal Marijuana While at Work — Remote or at the Office? 

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. 

 

Alabama Legalizes Medical Marijuana While Allowing Employers Discretion as to Participating Workers 

June | Alabama: A new marijuana law has legalized medical marijuana in the state. 

 

California District Court Disability Claims Based on Failed Preemployment Marijuana Screen 

June | California: Two decisions remind employers that they still have certain rights when it comes to pre-employment drug testing for marijuana. 

 

Connecticut Has Become the 19th State to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Use by Adults 

June | Connecticut: A new law was signed that permits possession and recreational use of cannabis for those 21 and older. 

 

Why Amazon’s Updated Marijuana Drug Testing Policy Could Have ‘Ripple Effect’

July | National: Amazon will no longer include marijuana in its comprehensive drug screening program for jobs that are not regulated by the DOT. 

 

New Mexico Workplace Drug Policies Evolving 

August | New Mexico: Previous marijuana use is no longer considered a disqualifying factor for getting a job with the Santa Fe Police Department. 

 

New Puerto Rico Law Expands Employment Protections for Registered and Licensed Medical Cannabis Patients 

August | Puerto Rico: Employment protections in Puerto Rico have been expanded to employees who are registered and licensed medical cannabis patients. 

 

Top 5 Things to Know When Drug Testing in Iowa

August | Iowa: Iowa is a pro-drug testing state; however, some exceptions do apply. 

 

What Do I Do With My Workplace Drug Policy Now That Cannabis is Legal in Illinois and My Employees Are Remote? 

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. 

 

Pennsylvania Appeals Court Determines State’s Medical Marijuana Act Includes a Private Right of Action for Employees 

August | Pennsylvania: Employees in the state can sue their employers for claims under the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act (MMA). 

 

New Jersey Cannabis Commission Gives Employers Who Drug Test a Reprieve on Physical Examination Requirement 

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. 

 

Federal Court in California Greenlights Drug Testing of Job Applicants 

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. 

 

Marijuana Drug Tests in the Workplace Would Follow Same Standards on DUI, Under Proposed Change in Illinois Law 

August | Illinois: A new marijuana law would include protections for employers and aims to permit marijuana use on personal time, unless impairment is present. 

 

Commission Temporarily Waives Requirement for Employers to Conduct Physical Examinations in Connection with Cannabis Drug Testing 

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. 

 

Connecticut Becomes the 20th Jurisdiction to Legalize Recreational Marijuana 

September | Connecticut: A bill was signed that legalized recreational marijuana use by adults 21 years and older. 

 

Marijuana Legalization Rundown: Recent Judicial Decisions 

September | National: Significant cannabis law changes have taken place in various states, including California, Michigan and Pennsylvania. 

 

Cannabis Legalization and its Impact on the Transportation Industry

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. 

 

New York State Department of Labor Issues Guidance Concerning Employee Cannabis Use 

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. 

 

NYSDOL Issues Guidance Regarding Employee Use of Cannabis 

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. 

 

Tight Labor Market Affects Drug Testing Policies 

November | National: The tight labor market has caused some employers to consider relaxing their drug testing policies. 

 

Cannabis: A Primer for New York Employers 

December | New York: The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act legalizes adult recreational use of marijuana, offers protection for employees and sets regulations for employers. 

 

Philadelphia’s Restrictions on Pre-Employment Marijuana Tests Become Effective January 1, 2022

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. 

 

Atlanta Mayor Suspends Pre-Employment Physical Exams, Drug Screenings, For Non-Safety Sensitive Jobs 

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. 

 

Drug Overdose Deaths Hit Record High

July| National: The CDC has indicated that deaths due to overdose jumped by 29 percent from the year before. 

 

Current Consulting Group, LLC: 2021 Employer Drug Testing Survey 

August | National: The 2021 Employer Drug Testing Survey of various industries from construction to healthcare has been released. 

 

Employee Flunks Drug Test — Then Collects Six-Figure Payout 

August | Tennessee: An employee of Lonza America LLC has won a disability claim that alleged the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

 

First Advantage Study Reports That When Employers Stopped Drug Testing During COVID-19, Drug Positivity Soared 

October | National: According to a First Advantage study, post-accident positivity rates rose by 17 percent across all industries. 

 

Baltimore: City Officials Move to Abolish Pre-Employment Drug Screens for Many Public Employees 

December | Maryland: Municipal provisions have been approved that suspend pre-employment drug screenings for public employees in non-safety sensitive positions. 

 

There is a Shortage of Collection Cups. Here is How It Impacts Your Drug Testing Program

December | National: A nationwide plastics shortage has led to a problem for the DOT: Not enough collection cups at drug testing facilities.