On January 14, 2022, the Supreme Court docket of New Hampshire reversed a trial courtroom choice that dismissed a former worker’s criticism alleging his employer failed to contemplate whether or not it may moderately accommodate his use of marijuana for medicinal functions. New Hampshire joins a rising variety of different jurisdictions which have discovered an employer may need to contemplate medical marijuana use as an affordable lodging.
The previous worker alleged that he suffered from Submit-Traumatic Stress Dysfunction and that his doctor had beneficial that he use marijuana to deal with his PTSD. He enrolled within the state’s therapeutic marijuana program and submitted to his employer a written request for an exception from its drug testing coverage as an affordable lodging for his incapacity. The previous worker suggested that he had no intention of utilizing or possessing throughout work hours or on the corporate’s premises. The employer denied the request and in the end terminated him.
The previous worker introduced an employment discrimination declare alleging a failure to make an affordable lodging for his incapacity. The employer moved to dismiss, arguing that as a result of marijuana is each unlawful and criminalized beneath federal legislation, the requested lodging was facially unreasonable. The trial courtroom agreed with the employer and granted its movement. The previous worker argued on enchantment that the trial courtroom erred in ruling that as a matter of legislation, an employer can’t be required to accommodate an worker’s use of medical marijuana to deal with a incapacity beneath state legislation.
The Supreme Court docket of New Hampshire agreed with the previous worker and reversed. Specializing in the textual content of the statute, the courtroom agreed with the previous worker that the New Hampshire incapacity and lodging statute doesn’t include any language categorically excluding using medical marijuana as an lodging. Relatively, whether or not an lodging for a medical marijuana person is affordable is “intrinsically a factual willpower” that “ought to be selected a case-by-case foundation relying on the info of the case.” Consequently, the courtroom reversed and remanded.
New Hampshire shouldn’t be alone in offering employment protections to candidates and staff utilizing medical marijuana. Lately, extra states are passing legal guidelines, or their courts are decoding current legal guidelines, to guard medical marijuana customers, together with in Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island, amongst others. It’s doubtless that checklist will develop. Employers in all jurisdictions ought to train warning when coping with candidates and staff utilizing medical marijuana. Earlier than taking any motion in opposition to medical marijuana customers, employers ought to evaluate the legal guidelines of the states by which they function and work with employment counsel to assist navigate this advanced and quickly evolving space of the legislation.