Nevada bans employers from refusing to hire applicants who fail marijuana tests

Nevada has become the first state to ban employers from refusing to hire job applicants who fail a marijuana screening test.

The law, signed June 5 by Gov. Steve Sisolak, will take effect at the start of 2020.

“It is 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,” the law states.

A file photo of an applicant at a job fair, alongside a marijuana plant. (Photo credit: Mario Tama & Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

There are some exceptions. The law doesn't apply to prospective firefighters, EMTs, employees who operate a motor vehicle, or those who, in the determination of the employer, “could adversely affect the safety of others.”

The law also states that if an employer requires an applicant to submit to a screening test within the first 30 days of employment, the person has the right to submit to an additional screening test to rebut the results, at their own expense.

The employer must accept the results of the additional screening test, the law adds.

In 2016, voters in Nevada legalized the recreational use of marijuana for adults 21 and older, with businesses starting cannabis sales in July 2017.

In New York City, a local law passed this year that also banned employers from requiring a prospective employee to submit to testing for the presence of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, as a condition of employment.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.