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✅ $C Citi Turns Over a New Leaf

In case you’re wondering why Ivy League finance majors seem less anxious about graduation...
Citigroup is considering looking the other way on marijuana testing for new hires, the New York Post reports. It would keep testing for other drugs, but it’s a surprising move from what the Post calls “one of Wall Street’s least chill firms.” Goldman Sachs doesn’t test for marijuana, and Morgan Stanley doesn’t test for any substances.
But...it’s not like Citi has a choice. Last week, the New York City Council voted to ban marijuana testing for prospective employees. Mayor Bill de Blasio hasn’t signed it yet, but after he does, it will take effect in a year. Recreational pot is still illegal in the state of New York (though medical marijuana is allowed) and de Blasio's fremesis Governor Andrew Cuomo has been pushing for legalization.

The council’s reasoning

It’s all part of a recent push by criminal justice activists to reform the system and keep it from punishing people for low-level crimes. Recently elected Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who sponsored the bill, called testing“an impediment to opportunity.”
While many states have legalized or decriminalized marijuana, this kind of law is pretty much unprecedented—and that makes it complicated. The sponsors weren’t even able to estimate how many businesses would be affected.

But don’t expect trading floors to start smelling all sweet and earthy…

Companies can still test people who seem high on the job. And though the ban covers both public and private companies, there are a few exceptions:
  • Jobs that involve a risk to safety, like construction
  • Jobs working with kids, like education
  • Government employees, like city councilmembers
Zoom out: Employee drug testing actually hasn’t been around that long. Per the NYT, the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 required screening for federal workers and contractors, and then it gradually became standard in the private sector. In 2011, more than half of U.S. employers drug tested potential hires. Some employers say it prevents hiring people with impaired judgment or those who insist on putting on Rick and Morty.

Looking ahead

Ten states and Washington, D.C. have legalized recreational pot, and the number of workers and job seekers testing positive for marijuana is at a 14-year...peak. And not even buttoned-up Wall Street is immune.

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  1. I love where Citi is going. I've always used them personally and wish for their growth to continue.

  2. I wish Citi all the best. It's been one of the most reliable banks out there for a while now and I back it completely. I don't think any employees are going to abuse this.