Marijuana Testing In Philadelphia Can Be Disputed By Workers, But Do They Know Their Rights?

Marijuana Testing In Philadelphia Can Be Disputed By Workers, But Do They Know Their Rights?

A year after the ban on employers testing for marijuana use during the hiring process was enacted, the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, which oversees its implementation, said it had not received any complaints over unlawful pre-hire marijuana testing in 2022, reported MSN.

“This is a really sensible step for the business sector of the region,” Chris Goldstein, a regional organizer with NORML told Billy Penn. “Pre-employment screening prevented millions of people from applying for everyday jobs, and in this hiring crisis, you really can’t do any more than this to help.”

The commission's campaign prioritized informing employers and prospective employees of their new rights. But, do workers know about their rights?

What They Need To Know

  • Employers in the state cannot test for cannabis use during the hiring process, but they can test after a candidate gets the job and starts working.
  • If job applicants believe there is an error in their marijuana tests, they can file and email their complaints to the commission. Employers are fined $300 per offense.

However, certain security-sensitive positions are exempt, as are jobs subject to federal funding or related to a union agreement that provides for marijuana testing, per the Inquirer PA.

Although the commission worked on an FAQ for employers, some marijuana policy experts said that was not enough.

Executive director Kia Ghee, who says the human relations commission does not preemptively investigate employers, stated: “Instead, individuals who are subjected to unlawful pre-employment marijuana testing for non-exempt positions must file a complaint to trigger an investigation.”

“No one has said anything about jobs or how to discuss cannabis use with employers,” said entrepreneur Damian Jorden who runs a Philadelphia-based job search platform that lists job openings from around the country that do not require marijuana testing.

Barbara Rittinger Rigo, a lawyer who represents employers noted that the zero complaints situation was very suspect. “It does make you question whether there’s enough information and education out there (…) Employers are the ones who need to change their policies."

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Posted In: CannabisGovernmentNewsRegulationsPoliticsMarketsGeneralCannabis In PhiladelphiaChris Goldsteinmarijuana testingNORMLPhiladelphia Commission on Human Relations


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