Medical marijuana worker protections aren’t guaranteed in California – but they are growing nationally, and workplaces should take note. California became the first state to permit use of the drug for medicinal purposes and 33 states plus Washington D.C. have followed suit, with 10 (including California, plus D.C.) have permitted use of the drug recreationally. However, as Los Angeles employment attorneys can explain, none of that guarantees a worker’s job will be safe if they use marijuana – even if it’s done recreationally and off-the-job.
Companies need to start paying close attention to these cases, as there is an increased likelihood California employees with medical marijuana cards will enjoy increasing workplace protections. This amid a 2018 Pew Research Center Poll finding 62 percent of Americans favor legalization of marijuana, double the number who answered in the affirmative in 2000.
It used to be that courts largely rejected California wrongful termination lawsuits relating to medical marijuana use by employees. But then two years ago, a state court in Rhode Island ruled that a manufacturing company was not allowed to refuse hiring of a paid intern who used medical marijuana in accordance with state law just because she would test positive for the drug. Continue reading