Workers in Pennsylvania can’t be fired for having a doctor’s approval for medical marijuana — but once they actually use it, it’s a whole different story.
Vague legal safeguards for medical marijuana users in Pennsylvania are forcing patients to choose between their job and a drug they say has changed their life, and leaving skittish employers vulnerable to lawsuits, according to a three-month Spotlight PA investigation.
While state law protects workers from being fired or denied a job just for having a doctor’s permission to use marijuana, those protections become opaque when people actually take the drug — regardless of whether they do it in their personal time.
“It essentially makes no sense,” Pittsburgh attorney John McCreary Jr., who represents employers, told Spotlight PA.
Some jobs are specifically regulated by state and federal drug testing rules, but most fall into a gray area that leaves the interpretation of the rules up to employers and the courts. That leads to inconsistency and what employers see as a lose-lose scenario: Either risk a wrongful termination suit, or potentially allow an unsafe work environment.
Despite widespread demands for clarity from businesses, cannabis advocates, attorneys, and at least one judge, the legislature and governor have so far failed to explicitly outline the rights of scores of workers and employers.
A review of more than a dozen state and federal lawsuits by Spotlight PA highlights the law’s ambiguity, showing the ramifications faced by legal marijuana users. Among them: [Read More @ Spotlight PA]
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