As previously reported here, on February 22, 2021, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed A21, the “New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act” (CREAMMA), which is enabling legislation for the amendment to the New Jersey Constitution making lawful the recreational use of marijuana in the state.

While the new law, among other things, allows employers to
Continue Reading New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission’s “Personal Use Cannabis Rules” Do Not Provide Guidance About Employer Drug Testing Practices

New Jersey recently enacted a law permitting personal, nonmedical use of marijuana for individuals age 21 and over. Separate laws decriminalize marijuana and hashish possession and set out the penalties when individuals under age 21 use or possess marijuana or hashish. Although not immediately enforceable, New Jersey employers should immediately assess the implications of the laws on their current policies


Continue Reading New Jersey Recreational Marijuana Law Provides Significant Employment Protections to Marijuana Users

As you might recall from our previous post, The 10th Circuit Grants Re-leaf to Workers Seeking Overtime Under the FLSA, the 10th Circuit held that cannabis employers are not immune from federal overtime laws even though the cannabis sector is illegal under federal law.

The employer in Robert Kenney v. Helix TCS, Inc., sought to clear the haze
Continue Reading The ‘High’ Court Denies Review of Federal Overtime Case Involving Cannabis Employees

On May 29, 2020, the Rhode Island Supreme Court affirmed dismissal of an employee’s lawsuit against his former employer after it terminated him for refusing to submit to a reasonable suspicion drug test, even though his “bizarre” behavior could have been attributed to other causes. As employers are becoming increasingly concerned about marijuana use in states with recreational or medical
Continue Reading Rhode Island Court Upholds Termination of Medical Marijuana User for Refusing a Reasonable Suspicion Drug Test

On January 17, 2020, Hawaii Senators Rosalyn Baker (D) and Brian Taniguchi (D) introduced Senate Bill 2543, which proposes to provide employment protections to job applicants and employees who use medical cannabis. If enacted, Hawaii would join the growing number of states to pass similar laws.

Specifically, the most recent version of the bill provides that unless a failure
Continue Reading Hawaii Legislature Considers Bill Providing Employment Protections to Medical Cannabis Users

Marijuana (cannabis) remains a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act. And, more than a decade ago, the California Supreme Court held in Ross v. RagingWire Telecomm., Inc., that employers have the right to reject an applicant who tests positive for medical cannabis. Since that time, California employers have enjoyed some comfort in the ability
Continue Reading California Assembly (Again) Considers Bill Requiring Employers to Accommodate Medical Cannabis Use

In a recent decision, Palmiter v. Commonwealth Health Systems, the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas held that: (a) the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act (“MMA”) creates a private right of action for wrongful termination; and, alternatively, (b) an employee who claims to have been terminated for medical marijuana use authorized under the MMA can bring a claim of wrongful termination in violation of public policy.  This Pennsylvania court now joins courts in several other states, including Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, which have allowed adverse action claims against employers by employees or applicants who used medical marijuana under state law.
Continue Reading Pennsylvania Court Allows Medical Pot User To Proceed With Wrongful Termination Suit

On January 10, 2020, Colorado Representative Jovan Melton (D) introduced House Bill 20-1089, which proposes to clarify that the existing prohibition on an employer terminating an employee for the employee’s lawful off-duty activities, like off-duty consumption of alcohol, extends to activities that are lawful under state law even if they are illegal under federal law (e.g., recreational or medical
Continue Reading Colorado Representative Introduces Bill to Expand State’s Lawful Activities Law to Include Cannabis

In 2016, Pennsylvania enacted its “Medical Marijuana Act” (MMA), which permits individuals suffering from certain conditions to use marijuana for medicinal use. Several provisions in the MMA impact employers. For instance, the MMA makes it unlawful for an employer to “discharge, threaten, refuse to hire or otherwise discriminate or retaliate against an employee regarding an employee’s compensation, terms, conditions, location or privileges solely on the basis of such employee’s status as an individual who is certified to use medical marijuana.” In other words, taking adverse action against an employee based solely on the individual’s status as a medical marijuana cardholder would likely be considered discrimination under the MMA.
Continue Reading Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act at Issue in Recently Filed Complaint

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed suit last week in the D.C. Superior Court on behalf of Doretha Barber, a sanitation worker with the D.C. Department of Public Works, who claims that she was denied reasonable accommodation and placed on an indefinite leave of absence after disclosing that she is a medical marijuana card-holder under the District’s medical marijuana program.  Specifically, Ms. Barber alleges that she suffers from degenerative disc disease which causes her debilitating back pain and for which she was recently prescribed medical marijuana for off-duty use only.  When Ms. Barber requested a temporary transfer to a clerical position during the fall leaf raking season as an accommodation of her disability, she was purportedly denied the transfer, and after she disclosed that she possessed a medical marijuana card, she was allegedly placed on an unpaid leave of absence and told that she could not resume her duties as a sanitation worker until she successfully passed a drug test (which she would inevitably fail due to her medical marijuana use) because she was working in a “safety sensitive position.”
Continue Reading D.C. Sees Latest Test Case for Employees Seeking “Reasonable Accommodation” for Off-Duty Medical Marijuana Use