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Pending California Legislation Alert! Recently Introduced Bill Seeks to Protect Medicinal Marijuana Users from Employment Discrimination in California

Although both medicinal and now recreational consumption of marijuana have been legalized in California, this legalization did not impact an employer’s right to discipline or even terminate employees for marijuana use. That could change for medical marijuana users if a bill pending before the California legislature becomes law.  To read the rest of this article, … Continue Reading

Applicant’s Claim That Racially Biased Safety Officer Cancelled His Split Specimen Drug Test Was Insufficient to Establish Race Discrimination Under Cat’s Paw Theory

An employer that refused to hire an applicant based on a positive pre-employment drug test was entitled to summary judgment on the applicant’s race discrimination and civil conspiracy claims despite the applicant’s argument that the company safety officer cancelled his split specimen drug test due to discriminatory animus, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals … Continue Reading

Ohio’s Employer-Friendly Medical Marijuana Law Takes Effect September 6, 2016

Ohio’s new medical marijuana law becomes effective on September 6, 2016, although it may take up to two years for implementing regulations to be written and for dispensaries and the patient registry to become operational. House Bill 523, the “Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program,” allows people with certain medical conditions, upon the recommendation of a … Continue Reading

Montana’s Revised Medical Marijuana Law Survives Constitutional Challenge

The Montana Supreme Court has upheld against a state constitutional challenge the State’s 2011 Montana Marijuana Act, a new statutory framework embodying the State’s effort to limit abuses resulting from the 2004 Medical Marijuana Act, which was established by voter initiation. Montana Cannabis Industry Ass’n v. The State of Montana, 2016 Mont. LEXIS 168 (Feb. … Continue Reading

Do DOT-Regulated Employees Have A Privacy Interest In Their Positive Drug And Alcohol Test Results? Maybe Not.

Employees subject to U.S. Department of Transportation (“DOT”) drug and alcohol testing regulations may have limited privacy interests in their positive drug and alcohol test results of their positive drug and alcohol tests, according to a recent decision by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. McTimmonds v. Alcohol and Drug … Continue Reading

WEBINAR: Medical and Recreational Marijuana In The Workplace: Must Employers Allow It?

Election Day 2014 saw Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia pass laws legalizing recreational marijuana.  Almost half the states in this country have laws permitting medical marijuana.  As state and local marijuana laws continue to proliferate, join us for an informative and timely 60-minute webinar addressing critical questions for employers, including: How do these … Continue Reading

California Doctors May Soon Face Mandatory Random Drug and Alcohol Testing

This November, voters in California will decide whether to mandate drug and alcohol testing for doctors in the Golden State. Proposition 46 – formally known as “Drug And Alcohol Testing Of Doctors.  Medical Negligence Lawsuits.  Initiative Statute.” – will appear on the ballot in California’s upcoming elections.  If passed, hospitals operating in the State will … Continue Reading

Will Positive Medical Marijuana Test Result In Denial Of Unemployment Benefits?

May unemployment benefits be denied where an employee authorized to use medical marijuana under state law tests positive for the drug on a workplace substance abuse test, is fired under the employer’s zero tolerance policy, and seeks unemployment compensation?    Michigan’s state Court of Appeals is being asked to provide an answer.  Rick Braska, a fork-lift … Continue Reading


AN ASSORTMENT OF MARIJUANA AND OTHER DRUG ABUSE HAPPENINGS…. HEROIN USE IS SURGING as governmental efforts mount to halt prescription drug abuse, UPI reports.  With prescription opioids and other drugs getting harder to obtain, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine says heroin use has risen nearly100 percent in the past decade.  And … Continue Reading

Employee’s Negligence Claim Against Laboratory Dismissed Where Drug Test Results Were Accurate.

Commercial laboratories owe a duty of care to drug testing subjects and the failure to follow established procedures may be a violation of that duty in certain circumstances, according to a recent decision by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.  Rodriguez v. Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings, d/b/a LabCorp, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13505 (D.D.C. Feb. 4, … Continue Reading

Indignation Over Employer’s Handling of Substance Abuse No Reason To Quit, Get Unemployment Benefits

An administrative assistant’s belief that her employer asked her to engage in unethical conduct in dealing with company drug testing and alcohol abuse incidents did not give her good reason to quit her job or receive unemployment benefits, a Minnesota court has held.  That (a) the employee may have felt uncomfortable because the plant manager … Continue Reading

Michigan May Deny Jobless Benefits Where Failed Drug Test Causes Refusal To Hire

Michigan’s new drug testing disqualification law (Act No. 146 of 2013) amending the state’s “Employment Security Act” (MCL 421.129), provides that for one year after the enactment’s effective date (October 29, 2013), an individual will be considered to have refused an offer of suitable work if the prospective employer administers pre-employment drug tests on a … Continue Reading

Federal Court Holds Breath Testing For Alcohol Is Illegal in Maryland

In a case of first impression, a federal court in Maryland ruled recently that the state’s drug and alcohol testing statute prohibits private employers from conducting breath alcohol tests on its employees.   Whye, et al v. Concentra Health Services, Inc., 12-cv-3432 (ELH) (D. Md. Sept. 24, 2013). As employees of Vector Security, Inc., Wendell Whye … Continue Reading

Employee Using Prescription Medications Could Not Refuse Drug Test Under Theory That Employer “Knew” He Would Refuse

An Iowa appellate court reversed an award of damages to an employee under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) after the employee was discharged for refusing to submit to a post-accident drug test.  Phillip M. Brown v. Mystique Casino, No. 3-723, 13-0012 (Iowa App. Oct. 2, 2013). The employee had taken a number of prescription … Continue Reading

National Drug Abuse Survey: Workplace Abuse Persists; Marijuana, Heroin Use Gain

The Government’s Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings and Detailed Tables, finds that 8.9 percent of full-time employees and 12.5 percent of part-time employees, 18 years of age and older, are current illicit drug users, while 18.1 percent of unemployed adults in that age group are … Continue Reading

Federal Court Says Termination of Employee For Using Medical Marijuana Is Not Discriminatory

A federal court in Denver has held that an employee who was fired after testing positive for marijuana was not protected by the state’s anti-discrimination laws, even though Colorado has legalized the use of medical marijuana.  (Curry v. MillerCoors, Inc., 12-cv-02471 (JLK) (D. Colo. 2013)). MillerCoors terminated Paul Curry after he tested positive for marijuana … Continue Reading

Illinois Becomes 20th State to Legalize Medical Marijuana

On August 1, 2013, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, making Illinois the 20th state to legalize medical marijuana.  The law provides for a four year pilot program allowing individuals with certain medical conditions – including cancer and multiple sclerosis – access to medical marijuana, pending approval … Continue Reading

New CDC Study Finds Sharp Increase In Prescription Painkiller Overdoses Among Women

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) has published a new survey showing that prescription painkiller overdoses have increased sharply among women since 1999. Specifically, the CDC found that deaths from prescription painkiller overdoses among women have increased more than 400% since 1999, compared to 265% among men.  This rise relates to the increased prescribing … Continue Reading

New Hampshire Legislature Approves Medical Marijuana; Bill Sent to Governor for Signature

New Hampshire’s legislature has set the stage for the Granite State to become the 19th State to legalize medical marijuana.  On June 26, 2013, the legislature approved  HB 573, also known as “Use of Cannabis for Therapeutic Purposes.”  The statute allows patients diagnosed with certain qualifying conditions (including cancer, multiple sclerosis, Chrohn’s disease, and HIV/AIDS) … Continue Reading