Maxine Neuhauser, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Newark office, was quoted in “Higher Law: A Big Weed-in-the-Workplace Ruling,” Law.com’s weekly briefing on “all things cannabis,” by Cheryl Miller. (Read the full version – subscription required.)
Following is an excerpt:
New Jersey’s High Court Sides with Employee Using Medical Marijuana
In a much-awaited ruling, New Jersey’s Supreme Court this week said a funeral director who was fired after testing positive for legal medical marijuana use can sue for disability discrimination.
My colleague Suzette Parmley reports that the high court said “there is no conflict” between the state’s Compassionate Use Act, which says employers don’t have to “acommodate the medical use of marijuana in any workplace,” and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.
“In a case such as this, in which plaintiff alleges that the Compassionate Use Act authorized his use of medical marijuana outside the workplace, that Act’s provisions may be harmonized with the law governing LAD disability discrimination claims,” the court said. Read the ruling here.
After a minor accident in 2016 for which he was not at fault, Wild told his employer, Carriage Funeral Holdings Inc., that he was using medical marijuana to treat his cancer. The funeral home fired him, and Wild sued under New Jersey’s anti-discrimination law. …
“The big takeaway here is employers must reasonably accommodate individuals who are legal users of marijuana in the state of New Jersey, just as they would have to reasonably accommodate an employee taking any prescription medication,” Maxine Neuhauser, an Epstein Becker Green partner told northjersey.com. “If the individual’s ability to perform the job is not impacted by their use of medical marijuana, then you can’t just fire them for a positive drug test.”