The city of Philadelphia, PA. has enacted a law prohibiting employers from testing for marijuana as a condition of employment, effective January 1, 2022.

The new Chapter 9-4700 of the Philadelphia Code states that except as otherwise provided by law, or as provided in the exceptions (listed below) 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.

There are exception in the law for individuals working in certain jobs or professions:

  1. Police officers or other law enforcement positions;
  2. Any position requiring a commercial driver’s license;
  3. Any position requiring the supervision or care of children, medical patients, disabled or other vulnerable individuals;
  4. 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.

The new law also states that it does not apply to drug testing that is required by:

  1. Any federal or state statute, regulation or order that requires drug testing of prospective employees for purposes of safety or security;
  2. Any contract between the federal government and an employer or any grant of financial assistance from the federal government to an employer than requires drug testing of prospective employees as a condition of receiving the contract or grant; or
  3. 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.

Philadelphia employers should watch for the regulations to be implemented by the agency with enforcement responsibility concerning the types of jobs that “could significantly impact the health or safety of other employees or members of the public.”  In addition, employers should review their drug and alcohol testing policies and be ready to make any required changes prior to January 1, 2022.