For a few years now, New York has been in an ambiguous limbo regarding government and employer attitudes towards marijuana possession and usage. However, as of May 10, 2020, significant changes took effect that prevent job applicants from being discriminated against based on marijuana use. Although this does not fully legalize marijuana, it provides a significant amount of clarity regarding the vague legislation that is currently in place. If you face any charges for marijuana possession or use on or off the job, ensure that you get excellent legal aid from an experienced criminal and job defense attorney.
NYC Marijuana Laws
If you are not already aware, new rules regarding marijuana use in New York State were enacted in August 2019. These rules did not legalize marijuana, but it did lessen the severity of potential enforcement. For example, possession of marijuana up to two ounces is only considered a violation that could warrant a fine, but possession over that limit could still lead to criminal charges. This law ignores whether or not a person uses marijuana.
The Ban of Job Applicant Marijuana Tests
Given that New York seems to be slowly pushing towards the legalization of marijuana, this new measure provides more leniency than the somewhat superficial decriminalization imposed last year. Some states, like Maine, prevent employers from discriminating against employees for marijuana use, but this ban takes such efforts a step further. Now, public and private employers in New York City (even if their headquarters reside elsewhere) can no longer perform drug screening on any potential hires.
There are some exceptions. In any industry where safety is a primary concern like law enforcement or construction, drug screening is still allowed. Anyone working with children or in the healthcare industry is still subject to testing as well. Also, anyone employed by the federal government for a job that crosses state lines (i.e. a truck driver) can be tested.
Contact an NYC Job Defense Lawyer
Whether an employer is ignoring this new ban or you face charges for marijuana possession or use, you need a solid defense in court to protect your rights. When you work with Joey Jackson Law, PLLC, you will gain access to over 20 years of experience in criminal and civil service defense. To schedule a consultation with a Manhattan job defense attorney and learn more about what we can offer you, call 833-JOEY-JAC or 833-563-9522.