New Jersey has had laws protecting lawful marijuana users on the books since 2010, but new bills working their way through the legislature could add some muscle and clout behind the rights of employees who are treated unfairly because of medical marijuana use.
Under the current law, employers have no strict obligation to accommodate medical marijuana users, which creates an interesting dilemma. As it stands, many users are law-abiding citizens who regularly face discrimination in the workplace and elsewhere for doing something that is completely legal. Some may even face discrimination in the workplace for using medical marijuana in their personal time.
If the bills pass, New Jersey employers will be barred from taking adverse action against any employee or potential employee who is registered to use medical marijuana, or who lawfully partakes and tests positive for marijuana usage in a drug test. Of course, the individual in question would be required to provide proper documentation to prove that they are actually using the drug medically. This would entail a written notice of their right to defend their drug use, and medical documentation justifying the use itself.
When we think about workplace discrimination, we often think about sexual harassment, or discrimination based on race or religious beliefs. However, discrimination because of medical marijuana use is very real, and should receive a fair, compassionate defense. If you believe that you are the victim of discrimination because of medical marijuana use, be sure to enlist the guidance of an experienced attorney who can help you protect your rights and fight for justice.
Source: Mondaq, “New Jersey Bills To Provide Employment Protections For Medical Marijuana Patients Introduced,” M. Tae Phillips and Michael J. Riccobono, April 05, 2017