AccuSource Blog

Philadelphia Employers: Puff, Puff Pass[ed Drug Test]

Pennsylvania - LOVE landmark

In the year of marijuana blog posts, we will close out 2021 with another marijuana update. We have discussed during recent webinars that the City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is chasing after other jurisdictions who have banned pre-employment testing for marijuana. Under the new ordinance, codified under Chapter 9-5500 of the Philadelphia Code, it is unlawful for employers, labor organizations, and employment agencies, or agents of those parties, to require a pre-employment marijuana drug test as a condition of employment.

As with similar laws, there are exceptions. Those applying for certain jobs or professions are still subject pre-hire marijuana testing. These positions include police officers or other law enforcement positions; positions requiring a commercial driver’s license; positions requiring the supervision or care of children, medical patients, disabled, or other vulnerable persons; and positions in which the employee could significantly impact the health or safety of other employees or the public. Additionally, the prohibition against pre-employment marijuana testing does not apply if such testing is required under a federal or state statute, regulation, or order for safety purposes; where a federal contract or grant of federal financial assistance requires drug testing; or where an employer is subject to a collective bargaining agreement that specifically allows pre-employment drug testing, including for marijuana.

Philadelphia’s new ordinance deals specifically with pre-employment marijuana testing as a condition of employment. It does not address marijuana testing for current employees, presumably allowing an employer to retain marijuana in its panel for those already working for the employer. However, AccuSource always recommends review by knowledgeable legal counsel to ensure that an employer complies with all related laws and court decisions. The pre-employment marijuana testing ordinance takes effect on January 1, 2022. Affected companies that have not already removed it from its drug testing panel should review with legal counsel as soon as possible to determine its obligations and act accordingly. If you would like AccuSource to provide a complimentary review of your current background screening compliance program, please contact us at

Jennifer Daimon, Esq. | CIPM

Jennifer Daimon, Esq. | CIPM

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