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Does legal marijuana spell end of testing for the drug at NY businesses?

Recreational marijuana is now legal for adults in New York, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the end of testing for the drug in the workplace, experts said.

Although there is nothing in the law that bars companies from testing existing employees or job applicants for marijuana, the statute tweaked New York’s labor law to prevent companies from disciplining workers or not hiring applicants for using pot on their own time.

So while companies can still test for the drug, they can’t use it as a reason to fire people or not hire them.

“Look at this very similar to alcohol,” said Jason Klimek, an attorney who focuses on marijuana business law with Woods Oviatt Gilman in Rochester. “That’s kind of how the law was shaped.”

But there are plenty of exceptions, experts said.

If you work in a job that requires drug testing as part of a federal law or rule, you’ll still get tested and you could face consequences if you fail, said Andrew Bobrek, a labor and employment law attorney with Bond, Schoeneck & King in Syracuse. The list of those jobs is long and includes commercial truck drivers, physicians who prescribe medications, people who work in nuclear power plants and others. [Read more at]

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