New York Alcohol & Drugs laws & safety compliance analysis

New York Alcohol & Drugs: What you need to know

State Requirements

Some states have comprehensive drug-testing laws that regulate or prohibit testing in the private or public sector, but New York does not have such a law. New York employers are therefore free to implement testing policies at their own discretion.

Drug Testing
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Some states have comprehensive drug-testing laws that regulate or prohibit testing in the private or public sector, but New York does not have such a law. With the exception of testing employees for cannabis, New York employers are free to implement testing policies at their own discretion. There are details on implementing a drug-testing program. Please see the national Alcohol and Drugs section.

Discrimination

It is unlawful for any employer to refuse to hire, employ, license, discharge, or otherwise discriminate against an individual in compensation, promotion, or terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of an individual's legal use of consumable products that:

  • Is before the beginning or after the conclusion of the employee's work hours,
  • Is off of the employer's premises, and
  • Does not involve use of the employer's equipment or other property (NY Labor Law 201-d).

Effective March 31, 2021, the legal use of consumable products includes the use of cannabis in accordance with state law. Note that that an employer may enforce an established substance abuse or alcohol program or workplace policy.

The New York Human Rights Law prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of certain classifications, including disability. Some states address alcohol or drug use in the disability category; New York does not. The Human Rights Law covers employers with four or more employees (NY Exec. Law Art. 15 Sec. 290 et seq.).

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