Below is a short summary of each law and information on where employers can access additional information and compliance resources. The Americans with Disabilities Act ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities and guarantees equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, state and local government services, and telecommunications. Two sections of the ADA relate to employment: Employment prohibits covered employers from discriminating against people with disabilities in all employment-related activities, including hiring, pay, benefits, firingand promotions.
Although the employee faces an uphill battle, the case presents a challenge to the commonly-held view that the ADA does not support such a claim. United Parcel Services, Inc. Terry alleges that he was a medical marijuana card holder under the AMMA, and that, at the direction of his doctor, he used medical marijuana during non-work hours to treat his nearly constant and extreme hip pain.
In his lawsuit, Terry alleges that he was a disabled individual within the meaning of the ADA, and that UPS failed to offer him any reasonable accommodation for his disabilities.
Terry also claims that his termination constituted unlawful discrimination under the AMMA because it was a result of the positive drug and alcohol screening test and the AMMA prohibits an employer from terminating an employee who is a valid card holder solely because of a positive drug test for marijuana.
The ADA prohibits disability discrimination and requires reasonable employment accommodations for individuals with disabilities. The ADA does not consider individuals who currently use illegal drugs to be qualified disabled individuals entitled to reasonable accommodation.
And marijuana is an illegal drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act, 21 U. To the contrary, authority out of the Ninth Circuit within which the District of Arizona resides has held that medical marijuana use is not protected under the ADA, as the ADA does not protect illegal drug use and marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
City of Costa MesaF. Nevertheless, Terry is a case worth watching. Terry challenges the prevailing view and case law that the ADA does not protect medical marijuana users. It does so in the wake of a growing number of laws that legalize medical marijuana at the state level and decisions recognizing viable claims under state anti-discrimination laws.
On May 23,in Callaghan v. During her interviews, she disclosed to the company that she used medical marijuana and would test positive for it in her pre-employment drug test.
The company refused to hire her. The first question was whether the Hawkins-Slater Act creates a private right of action that allows an individual to file a lawsuit in court for alleged violations of the statute. The second question was whether a refusal to hire an applicant based on medical marijuana use could amount to disability discrimination under the RICRA.
The Court answered yes to both questions. Addressing the private right of action question, the Court acknowledged that the Hawkins-Slater Act does not contain any express language authorizing an individual to sue an employer for violation of the statute. The Court also acknowledged the general principle against assuming that a private right of action exists when the legislature chose not to create one.
On the other hand, the Court also recognized the legal principle that a court should not attribute to the legislature an intent to enact a meaningless statute.
Ultimately, the Court concluded that the Hawkins-Slater Act would be meaningless if it does not allow a private person to sue an employer for violating the statute. Thus, the Court held that an implied private right of action exists under the Hawkins-Slater Act, and the employer violated the law by refusing to hire Callaghan because of her medical marijuana use.
The company argued, relying on the Americans with Disabilities Act, that active drug use is not a disability.
Accordingly, the employer could have inferred that Callaghan was disabled, and thus, could have discriminated against her on that basis.
It goes against the weight of authority from courts in other states in its analysis of the interplay between medical marijuana and anti-discrimination laws. More importantly, it does so in a way that could require many employers with operations in Rhode Island and perhaps other states to change their policies regarding the hiring and continued employment of medical marijuana users.
If appealed, will the decision hold up? Will other courts in other states issue similar decisions?Daniel A. Schwartz created the Connecticut Employment Law Blog in with the goal of sharing new and noteworthy items relating to employment law with employers, human resources personnel, and executives in Connecticut.
Second, we continue to see an increase in the numbers of employment discrimination claims being filed at the state. Age Discrimination in Employment Act The ADEA's broad ban against age discrimination also specifically prohibits: statements or specifications in job notices or .
Federal law protects employees from discrimination on the basis of race, gender, and a number of other protected characteristics.
Federal law also protects employees from harassment, a form of sex discrimination that includes unwelcome sexual advances or taunts. Like the federal anti-discrimination laws, Florida law also prohibits an employer from retaliating against an individual who alleges employment discrimination in violation of federal law.
That is, an employer cannot take any adverse or negative action against an employee who is trying to protect his or her rights. The Missouri Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in housing, employment, and places of public accommodations based on race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, age (in employment only), and familial status (in housing only).
The Act also makes it unlawful to retaliate against an individual for filing a complaint. Federal Laws Prohibiting Job Discrimination Questions And Answers The "relief" or remedies available for employment discrimination, whether caused by intentional acts or by practices that have a discriminatory effect, may .