Mayor Bottoms suspends pre-employment physical exams and drug screening for prospective City employees

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued an Executive Order suspending pre-employment physical examinations and drug screening requirements for prospective City employees in non-safety sensitive positions. With equity being a core principle of the Administration’s policies and agenda, this Order is designed to address systemic discrimination against communities of color which are disproportionately affected by underlying health conditions. The Order also grants the Commissioner of the Department of Human Resources the authority to administratively establish requirements for pre-employment physical examinations and drug testing for safety sensitive positions and may designate certain employment classifications which affect safety and /or security as safety sensitive positions.

“The current pre-employment testing requirements for those seeking jobs, not related to safety and security, are outdated and costly barriers to onboarding new talent in the City of Atlanta,” said Mayor Bottoms. “As we continue to reform our employment process, creating a positive employee experience is key to attracting and maintaining a top-tier workforce, while ensuring opportunities are accessible to all.”

Previously, Mayor Bottoms removed the salary history question on employment applications in an effort to ensure fair hiring practices. Studies have shown that on average, women earn 80 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn. For women of color, the wage gap is even more disparate. Black women on average earn 62 cents for every dollar their white male counterpart earns. For Latinas, the gap is 53 cents for every dollar—or 47 percent less.

Mayor Bottoms’ move to revise pre-employment screenings and salary history questions from the City’s hiring practices builds upon Atlanta’s decision in 2014 to ban a requirement for people with criminal convictions to disclose that information on job applications.

This Order is another step toward achieving Mayor Bottoms’ vision for the city as One Atlanta and the Administration’s equity agenda. The establishment of the first-ever Mayor’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, known as One Atlanta, was developed by the Bottoms Administration to lead the City’s equity agenda by confronting policies and racial inequities that exist in our communities and working with City officials to develop solutions to address these issues.

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