One of the benefits of writing a blog as long as I have is that you get to track the progress of a law or legal development over a number of years.
It was back in 2012, for example, that I first provided a comprehensive summary of a new medical marijuana bill that was making it’s way through the legislature.
And I was quick to note that the law had enough questions attached to it that employers would be wise to spent a late night or two studying all of the quirks.
Now, years later, we have the first case to look deeply at the statute. And for employers, the answers are becoming clearer.
My colleague, Chris Engler, recently recapped the case in a post on my firm’s sister blog.
The plaintiff in the case had applied for a job with a health and rehabilitation facility. The plaintiff ultimately received a job offer, subject to completing a background check and a drug screen. Prior to the drug screen, the plaintiff informed the company that she was a qualifying patient who used medical marijuana to treat her PTSD. Nevertheless, when her drug screen came back positive, the company revoked the job offer on the day before she was to begin work. Based on these facts, the court granted summary judgment for the plaintiff….
In rejecting the employer’s defenses in the new decision, the court addressed various important issues regarding [the law’s] non-discrimination provision. First, the court clarified that [the law] protects both an individual’s status as a qualifying patient of medical marijuana and that individual’s actual use of medical marijuana. However, the court pointed out that employers can still discipline employees who are under the influence at work.
The case can be downloaded here.
As more people apply for cards to use medical marijuana, employers would be wise to understand the rules of the road before rejecting job applicants who test positive for marijuana on a drug screen.