On June 5, 2019, Nevada’s governor signed Assembly Bill No. 132, becoming the first state to prohibit pre-employment drug testing for the presence of marijuana (though New York City was the first city to enact such a law, as we discussed in our previous post).

The law makes it unlawful for any employer to fail or refuse to hire a prospective employee because the prospective employee submitted to a blood, urine, hair, or oral fluids drug test and the results of the screening test indicate the presence of marijuana.

Of course, the law provides certain exemptions. The law will not apply to prospective employees applying for certain positions, including:

  • As a firefighter;
  • As an emergency medical technician;
  • That requires an employee to operate a motor vehicle and for which federal or state law requires the employee to submit to screening tests; or
  • That, in the determination of the employer, could adversely affect the safety of others.

Further, if an employer requires an employee to submit to a screening test within the first 30 days of employment, the employee shall have the right to submit to an additional screening test, at his or her own expense, to rebut the results of the initial screening test. The employer shall accept and give appropriate consideration to the results of the additional screening test.

The law does not apply to the extent it is inconsistent or otherwise in conflict with the provisions of an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement; to the extent it is inconsistent or otherwise in conflict with the provisions of federal law; and additionally does not apply to a position of employment funded by a federal grant.

This law goes into effect on January 1, 2020. Employers should review and update their drug testing policies for applicants and employees to comply with this law.

Employers should also stay tuned; while Nevada may be the first, it is likely not the last. Similar pre-employment drug testing laws are expected to begin to pop up throughout the country in the near future!