Michigan employers can discriminate against medical marijuana patients
As Michigan moves toward the widespread availability of marijuana for recreational use, a Michigan Court of Appeals ruling could reinforce zero- tolerance workplace rules against the use of marijuana even in cases in which a person has a valid medical marijuana card.
Angel Eplee had claimed that the Lansing Board of Water and Light rescinded a job offer after she tested positive for marijuana, even though she had a medical marijuana card.
The case involved Angela Eplee, who was conditionally offered a job at the Lansing Board of Water and Light in 2017, as long as she passed a drug test. When her test came back positive — the board withdrew the offer of employment even after finding out that she had a medical marijuana card that allows her to use marijuana.
The company failed to provide her with a reason for withdrawing the offer via mail in the spring of 2017. The company’s lawyer later notified Eplee’s legal representation that the offer was off the table, citing “the needs of the department,” denying that its annulment was a result of Eplee’s drug test results or her “status as a registered qualifying patient under the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act.
The three-judge panel said, the “plaintiff has failed to demonstrate that she had any right or property interest of any manner in employment with the BWL. Plaintiff has also failed to demonstrate that there was any prohibition —statutory or otherwise — on the BWL’s ability to withdraw, for any or no reason at all, its conditional offer of employment.”
“The decision obviously is disappointing for the public work force here in Michigan, particularly those who thought they had any type of protection under the Medical Marihuana Act,” said Gardner “The ramifications are that there is no job security for any medical marijuana user in Michigan.”
The ruling in Eplee’s case comes in opposition to a number of recent rulings by courts in other states that have moved to protect patient rights. In the face of such cases states like Maine have implemented legislation that would prevent employers from discriminating against medical marijuana patients.
Hopefully Michigan lawmakers will get ahead of this issue and bring forward some employment protection for patients before this finding is used to unjustly destroy the livelihood of another medical marijuana patient.
Source Detroit free press –
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