A Connecticut woman recently won her lawsuit against an employer that rescinded her job offer after she failed a pre-employment drug screening by testing positive for marijuana. Plaintiff Katelin Noffsinger was offered a position as activities manager for Bridge Brook Health & Rehabilitation Center, pending admission of a drug test. Noffsinger informed Bridge Brook that she had been prescribed medical marijuana for her PTSD following a car accident, and assured the company that she was a registered user of medical marijuana and only used it at night so that it would not affect her job performance. After Noffsiger received a positive test result, the company, a government contractor, rescinded her job offer and Noffsinger sued, alleging they had violated the Connecticut Palliative Use of Marijuana Act’s (PUMA) anti-discrimination provision.
September 5, 2018, a federal district court decision by Judge Jeffrey Meyer ruled in favor of Noffsinger – with the amount of damages to be awarded yet to be determined. This decision serves as a reminder to Connecticut employers to evaluate their policies regarding marijuana use outside of the workplace – the state currently has nearly 28,000 medical marijuana patients and the number continues to grow. The Connecticut Department of Labor is hoping to assist employers in becoming educated on laws regarding medical marijuana use, going so far as to hold workshops to discuss issues that may be encountered in the workplace and ways to ensure a balance between employers’ policies and permitted medical marijuana use under Connecticut Law.
We encourage you to read through this article, which includes a link to the court’s decision. Decisions as to medical marijuana use are likely to proliferate in the coming months and years and BLG will continue to keep you apprised of the developments.