Physician Group Faces Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Lawsuit

Back to Blog
Marijuana-related lawsuits against employers continue to grow in popularity. One of the more recent complaints was filed March 16th in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against a physician group that operates a women’s health practice in the state.

The plaintiff, a certified medical marijuana user under Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act, alleged she suffered from PTSD and anxiety disordersprotected disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). She began as a patient at the health practice and was eventually offered employment as a medical receptionist, contingent upon a medical examination and drug test.

Not surprisingly, the plaintiff tested positive for marijuana and provided her medical marijuana card to the employer and MRO. Days later, she received a letter rescinding her employment offer due to several factors including of course the positive drug test. 

As alleged in the complaint, the letter referenced that “[m]arijuana remains an illegal Schedule I Controlled Substance under Federal law. Consequently, a positive drug screen for marijuana violates both Federal law and [the employer’s] policy.”

The complaint seized on this statement outlining that the employer’s obligation to maintain a drug-free workplace was not violated by an individual’s medical marijuana use outside of the workplace. Further, the complaint alleged the actions were discriminatory as they refused to hire the plaintiff based upon a “perceived disability” despite her being able to perform the role with or without a reasonable accommodation.

It remains to be seen what will happen with this newly filed complaint.

However, employersparticularly those in states such as Pennsylvania and New Jersey where this litigation is becoming increasingly commonare wise to consult with qualified legal counsel to review their drug testing and workplace policies as it relates to marijuana.

Share Post