Nevada Employers are Now Prohibited from Denying Jobs Based on Cannabis Use

June 15, 2019

As of next year, Nevada employers will no longer be allowed to discriminate against job applicants for failing a drug test for cannabis.

It’s a landmark move making Nevada the first state in the country to enact such a law. According to the bill, it will soon be “unlawful for any employer in this State to fail or refuse to hire a prospective employee because the prospective employee submitted to a screening test and the results of the screening test indicate the presence of marijuana.”

This of course does not apply to emergency personnel such as police officers, firefighters, and paramedics, nor does it apply to anyone who operates a motor vehicle or could otherwise affect peoples’ safety on the job.

One of the more unique aspects of this change is that if the employer does require a drug screen, then the employee has a right to appeal and get additional testing done. The employer is required to accept the most recent drug test.

“As our legal cannabis industry continues to flourish, it’s important to ensure that the door of economic opportunity remains open for all Nevadans,” Gov. Sisolak said in an interview with CNN. “That’s why I was proud to sign AB132 into law, which contains common-sense exceptions for public safety and transportation professionals.”

This new law came only a few years after Nevada legalized recreational cannabis back in 2016. Many other states with adult-use cannabis regulations (I’m looking at you California) have yet to approve any laws that protect employees from hiring discrimination or getting fired from their current places of employment. Logically, it should be handled just like alcohol – as long as you’re sober at work, it’s a non-issue.

Other areas that have similar yet less expansive laws on the books include NYC and the state of Maine, who both made it illegal for employers to deny employment based on a positive cannabis test. No other state or city has included a provision to appeal the drug test results though.

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