View all Articles

Philadelphia Bans Pre-employment Marijuana Testing in 2022

Effective January 1, 2022, the City of Philadelphia has passed an amendment to Title 9 of the Philadelphia Code by adding Chapter 9-4700. Chapter 9-4700 states that it is unlawful for an employer, labor organization, employment agency or agent thereof to require a prospective employee to submit to marijuana testing as a condition of employment, except as otherwise provided by law or based on one of the limited exceptions to the amendment.

Particularly, the following professions are found to be exempt from the amendment:

  • Police officers or other law enforcement positions
  • Any position requiring a commercial driver’s license
  • Any position requiring the supervision or care of children, medical patients, disabled or other vulnerable individuals
  • Any position in which the employee could significantly impact the health or safety of other employees or members of the public, as determined by the enforcement agency and set forth in regulations pursuant to this Chapter

Furthermore, the ordinance does not apply to drug testing required by:

  • Any federal or state statute, regulation or order that requires drug testing of prospective employees for purposes of safety or security
  • Any contract between the federal government and an employer or any grant of financial assistance from the federal government to an employer that requires drug testing of prospective employees as a condition of receiving the contract or grant
  • Any applicant whose prospective employer is a party to a valid collective bargaining agreement that specifically addresses the pre-employment drug testing of such applicants

Next Steps for Employers

Employers should review their current alcohol and drug testing policies and make any necessary adjustments to ensure compliance. Additionally, employers will need to monitor whether the city issues additional guidance on the law, including providing clarification regarding the types of positions that “could significantly impact the health or safety of other employees or members of the public.”

HR Works, headquartered in Upstate New York, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States for over thirty years. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.