Friday, September 28, 2012

Court of Appeals Upholds Termination for Medical Marijuana Card-Holder

In Casias v. Walmart (Sept. 19, 2012) 2012 WL 4096153, the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld the termination of an employee who tested positive for marijuana even though he had a state-issued medical marijuana registry card.  Casias was an employee of Walmart in Michigan when he tested positive for marijuana on a drug test and Walmart fired him.  He claimed he never used marijuana at work or came to work under the influence and that Walmart should not be allowed to fire him because he had a state-issued medical marijuana card.  The Court disagreed.

The Court ruled Michigan's medical marijuana law did not prevent employers from firing workers who use marijuana, it just prevented State and local agencies from seeking criminal penalties against card holders.  The Court's ruling mirrors California law.  In Ross v. RagingWire Telecommunications, Inc. (2008) 42 Cal.4th 920, the California Supreme Court ruled California's medical marijuana law does not prohibit employers from firing marijuana users.  Several attempts to change California law to ban the practice have failed, most recently SB 129 which died in committee in February.