New Jersey: Medical Marijuana Protected from Workplace Discrimination

APPLIES TO

All Employers with NJ Employees

EFFECTIVE

March 27, 2019

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In Wild v. Carriage Funeral Holdings, Inc., the New Jersey Court of Appeal stated that although the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act does not prohibit discrimination for use of medical marijuana, the Law Against Discrimination (LAD) may. There, an employee used medical marijuana as part of his cancer treatment. While driving for work, the employee was struck by another vehicle that ran a stop sign. Although the emergency room treating physician did not observe the employee to be under the influence and did not perform a blood test noting that the employee had a medical marijuana card, the employer required a blood test before the employee could return to work and ultimately terminated him.

The court stated that although the Compassionate Use Act does not require employers to accommodate the medical use of marijuana in the workplace, the LAD prohibits discrimination on the basis of a disability which may be treated by medical marijuana. Because the employee had cancer that was being treated in part with medical marijuana, his claims of discrimination under the LAD could proceed. Employers must take care to have employment decisions reviewed by legal counsel when employee disabilities are involved.

Action Items

  1. Have substance abuse policies and procedures reviewed and revised consistent with this ruling.
  2. Implement interactive process procedures for employees who use medical marijuana.
  3. Review employment decisions involving employee disabilities with legal counsel before enforcement.
  4. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2019 ManagEase

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