One employer now faces a lawsuit after rescinding a job offer following a positive drug test. How could the fallback of the lawsuit affect your future hiring (and firing) practices surrounding marijuana in the workplace?
The Budding Backstory
Katelin Noffsinger, a recreational therapist suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, was prescribed medical cannabis in capsule form by her doctor back in 2015, taking a pill each night to aid her sleep. A legitimate prescription, Connecticut legalized medical marijuana in 2012, adding it to the 29-and-counting states to legalize thus far.
Prior to her drug screening, Noffsinger informed her prospective employer, Niantic Operating Company L.L.C. (DBA: Bride Brook Nursing and Rehabilitation Center) of the prescription. According to the ruling, one day prior to beginning her new position – and after quitting her former job - the rehab center rescinded the job offer citing a positive drug test.
The State’s Position
The defendant sought dismissal, citing federal laws including the Controlled Substances Act, categorizing the marijuana as illegal. This put the U.S. District Court of Connecticut in a sticky situation: Deciding if the federal law trumped Connecticut law in prohibiting employers from hiring/firing subsequent to medical marijuana use.
Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer concluded that answer was ‘no’ – and those using medical marijuana in compliance with state law can seek action against an employer who refuses employment for this reason. A Supreme Judicial Court in Maine reached the same conclusion in a similar case last month, adding further to the maze of complications surrounding marijuana in the workplace.
Struggling to solve dilemmas involving marijuana in the workplace? Navigate this continually perplexing issue with the help of MinnesotaComp Advisor today.