If an employee is using medical marijuana, do you have to accept it, even if it goes against your policy?
According to a recent court ruling, no, you don’t. Here’s a breakdown of what happened.
Stefan Eccleston worked as a firefighter for the City of Waterbury, Connecticut when he was diagnosed with PTSD.
Eccleston never told his employer of his diagnosis, but he mentioned how he was going to apply for a medical marijuana card. His supervisor said that “wouldn’t be a good idea,” but Eccleston obtained one anyway.
Not too long after, Eccleston failed a drug screening and was terminated because his marijuana use “endangered the health and wellbeing of others.”
Eccleston then sued, claiming a violation of the ADA – but the court sided with the employer.
The first issue with Eccleston’s claim was he never informed his supervisor of his PTSD diagnosis, or explained why he sought a medical marijuana card. The city had no clue Eccleston had a disability.
The court went on to say that marijuana is still illegal under federal law, and the ADA doesn’t protect its usage. The city was within its rights to fire Eccleston for failing the drug test. It only would’ve violated the ADA if he was fired because of his PTSD.
Cite: Eccleston v. City of Waterbury, 3/22/21.