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August 11, 2022
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In Ceballos v. NP Palace, LLC, the Nevada Supreme Court said that recreational marijuana use is not lawful off-duty conduct, and employers do not have to accommodate recreational marijuana use. In this case, a table games dealer at a Las Vegas casino suffered a minor workplace injury. He tested positive for marijuana in a post-accident drug screen and the casino terminated his employment. The employee then filed a claim stating the discharge violated Nevada’s lawful off-duty conduct law because recreational marijuana use is lawful under Nevada law and his use of marijuana did not adversely affect his ability to perform his job or the safety of other employees.
The Nevada Supreme Court disagreed with the employee and based its ruling on the fact that use of marijuana must be lawful under both state and federal law in order to qualify as lawful off-duty conduct. In this case, while marijuana use is lawful under Nevada law, marijuana is still a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law. Additionally, the employee’s personal right to use marijuana recreationally did not involve a compelling public policy, like employer-coerced criminal conduct, workers’ compensation for on-the-job injuries, or whistleblowing. Most importantly, the Nevada Supreme Court noted that if the Nevada legislature wanted employers to accommodate recreational marijuana use then it would have done so.
- Have substance abuse policies and post-accident testing requirements updated, as necessary.
- Have appropriate personnel trained on substance abuse policies.
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