Denied a Job Because of Medical Marijuana?

The AP is reporting that a woman has brought suit against a textile company for refusing her an internship based on the marijuana she used to treat her debilitating migraines. This has occurred in Rhode Island, which has legalized marijuana for medicinal use. The Americans with Disabilities Act protects the employment of those with disabilities when reasonable accommodations can be made to their jobs. It is unknown what accommodations the plaintiff requested in this case, but it certainly seems preferable that the employer allow her to work when properly medicated versus being prevented from working at all with migraine headaches.

Given that the state has approved of the medical use of marijuana, the plaintiff here would not be breaking state law if she used marijuana in the above described manner. However, marijuana usage is still illegal under Federal law, and that proscription might provide something of a defense.

However, a reasonable accommodation is clearly preferable, If you have questions about accommodations in your workplace, please reach out to one of our attorneys.