Screening News Update: NJ Pot Vote Sinks | Labs Can Be Sued for Mistakes | Midwest Salary Ban [Video]
- New Jersey Marijuana Effort Goes Up in Smoke
- State Supreme Court Forces Responsibility on Drug Testing Labs
- First Midwestern Salary Ban
New Jersey Marijuana Effort Goes Up in Smoke
One of New Jersey Governor Philip Murphy’s top campaign promises just went up in smoke. After months of trying, Democrats in the state legislature were unable to get the votes needed to legalize recreational marijuana. Democrats have control of both the State Senate and the Assembly, but infighting has kept much of the Governor’s agenda from seeing the light of day. The most vocal opponents of the marijuana proposal have been several African-American lawmakers who split from the rest of the party arguing that legalizing the drug would create a “public health menace” in their communities. Governor Murphy insists the effort is just stalled, not defeated. He says legalization is an urgent civil rights issue of our era and promises the bill will eventually get passed. He is also seeking to greatly expand the state’s medical marijuana program, but that is now on hold as well.
State Supreme Court Forces Responsibility on Drug Testing Labs
The South Carolina State Supreme Court says drug testing labs that make mistakes do have to answer to those being tested and can be sued for negligence for some mistakes. The plaintiff in the case is a former BMW employee who was fired after being chosen for a random drug test. The test came back positive for cocaine. The employee insisted he had never used drugs and the test was wrong. A second test, performed at the same lab, came back positive as well. The plaintiff lost his job and sued the lab for negligence and negligent supervision. Council for the lab argued that the laboratory could not be sued for this because it did not owe a duty of care to the plaintiff. The State Supreme Court sided with the man who lost his job and laid out several reasons a lab may be sued by someone who claims an incorrect employment related drug test. The Court felt the testing facility would be more likely to ensure accuracy if they could be held liable for mistakes. Only three other states, New York, Pennsylvania and Wyoming, have also decided that labs owe this duty of care to the testing subject.
First Midwestern Salary Ban
Seven states and six cities have already put salary ban laws in place to prohibit employers from asking applicants how much they have been paid in the past. Now, the Midwest has its first salary ban, and it is even more extensive than the ones that came before it. The city of Cincinnati passed a law that not only prohibits employers from using past pay rates to make hiring decisions, but requires that all job applicants get a “pay scale” for the job they are seeking.