Philadelphia Bans Employers From Conducting Pre-hire Marijuana Testing

On April 22, 2021, the Philadelphia City Council passed a new ordinance prohibiting employers from conducting pre-hire marijuana testing, which Mayor Jim Kenney signed it into law on April 28, 2021. The new ordinance makes it an unlawful employment practice for employers, labor organizations, or employment agencies to require prospective employees to undergo pre-hire marijuana screening as a condition of employment in most jobs. There are, however, exceptions. Employers may conduct pre-hire marijuana testing if the applicant is seeking:

  • any position in law enforcement;
  • any position requiring a commercial driver’s license;
  • any position requiring the supervision or care of children, medical patients, disabled or other vulnerable individuals; and
  • any position in which the employee could significantly impact the health or safety of other employees or members of the public.

The new ordinance will make Philadelphia the third jurisdiction in the United States to limit the ability of private employers to conduct marijuana testing of prospective employees. Notably, the new ordinance is focused on prospective employees and does not limit an employer’s ability to conduct marijuana screens on current employees. The new ordinance will take effect on January 1, 2022.

For more information, please contact Lisa Scidurlo at, Joseph Hofmann at, Theresa Zechman at, Daniel Sobol at or reach out to the Stevens & Lee attorney with whom you regularly work.