Mayor Removes Pre-Employment Drug and Alcohol Screenings for City Jobs

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Brandon M. Scott
Baltimore City
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New Policy Fulfills Mayor’s Promise to Remove Pre-Employment Screenings from Non-Safety Sensitive Positions, Increasing Equity and Helping Fill Positions Necessary to Deliver Core City Services

BALTIMORE, MD. (Wednesday, December 15, 2021) — This morning, the Board of Estimates (BOE) approved Administrative Manual Policy 205-8, which removes the requirement for a pre-employment drug and alcohol screening for prospective employees in non-safety sensitive positions. The policy change will better align the City’s hiring process with established industry best practices. 

This change comes at the request of Mayor Brandon M. Scott, who — during his Mayoral campaign — committed to removing exclusionary and inequitable barriers that have prevented otherwise highly-qualified people from obtaining jobs with the City. This move is also designed to ensure the City can effectively recruit the workforce needed to deliver essential services. 

“We want the best and brightest candidates to help us provide efficient and effective City services to our residents,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “Frankly, the outdated and costly pre-employment drug and alcohol screenings only served to block qualified and passionate residents from obtaining employment with the City.”

The Mayor has continually outlined his support for this effort and has included the initiative in his State of the City address and recently-released Action Plan, under his priority area to ensure the Responsible Stewardship of City Resources. This initiative is in line with Mayor Scott’s goal of recruiting, retaining, and developing a diverse and high-achieving workforce.

“This policy disproportionately harmed the prospects of talented Black and Brown job candidates,” continued Mayor Scott. “I am grateful that we are making this change now so that we can continue to improve local government operations and better serve the people of Baltimore.”

“Removing this barrier to employment is the most equitable action that the City can take from a hiring standpoint,” said Dana Moore, Baltimore’s Chief Equity Officer and Director of the Office of Equity and Civil Rights. “I appreciate the big step forward that Mayor Scott, the entire administration, and the BOE made this morning. This is about tearing down systemic obstacles that prevent many Black and Brown Baltimoreans from meaningful employment with the City.”

This is something that top local leaders, including Mayor Scott and Comptroller Bill Henry, have been working towards since their days on the City Council. 

“As a council member, I proudly co-sponsored a similar policy and am elated to see it finally put into effect,” said Comptroller Bill Henry. “Simply put, pre-employment drug testing for non-safety-based jobs is only effective at preventing qualified applicants from applying for jobs. It's not evidence-based, it is just costly. I want to thank Mayor Scott for putting this policy change before the BOE and for his continued support on our shared vision to ensure an equitable and professional city government.”

With this morning’s passage before the BOE, the Administrative Manual Policy is slated to go into effect immediately. People interested in career and employment opportunities with the City of Baltimore can see available jobs here.

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