Federal Court: Employers Refusal to Hire Medical Cannabis Patient for Cannabis Use a Violation of Connecticut Law

A federal court in Connecticut has ruled that it’s a violation of the state’s medical cannabis law to refuse to hire a medical cannabis patient based solely on a drug test which finds cannabis in their system.

Refusing to hire a medical cannabis patient because she tested positive on a pre-employment drug test violates Connecticut’s medical marijuana law, a federal court in Connecticut has held, granting summary judgment to the job applicant on her employment discrimination claim. The case is Noffsinger v. SSC Niantic Operating Co., LLC, d/b/a Bride Brook Nursing & Rehab. Ctr.No. 3:16-cv-01938, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150453 (D. Conn. Sept. 5, 2018).

“Noffsinger illustrates that employers (including federal contractors) should not rely solely on federal law or their status as a federal contractor when making employment decisions with regard to applicants and employees who use medical marijuana”, states a report by Jackson Lewis P.C., a law firm with over 850 attorneys nationwide. “Courts in Connecticut and certain other states will enforce state laws against discrimination with regard to medical marijuana use.”

Despite the ruling, the court declined to award the applicant any attorneys’ fees or punitive damages, and dismissed her claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress.

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