HR Alert

U.S. District Court: Connecticut Employers May Not Fire or Refuse to Hire Medical Marijuana Patients Regardless of Federal Law

Opinion May Impact Workplace Policies and Practices

A U.S. District Court has ruled that Connecticut employers are prohibited from firing or refusing to hire someone who uses marijuana for medicinal purposes, regardless of federal law.


According to the opinion, federal law does not prevent enforcement of a Connecticut law that prohibits employers from firing or refusing to hire a medical marijuana patient. An individual who uses medical marijuana in compliance with state law may maintain a cause of action against an employer who refuses to employ him or her for this reason.


Under Connecticut law, an employer is generally prohibited from refusing to hire a person or from discharging, penalizing, or threatening an employee solely because he or she is (among other things) a qualified medical marijuana patient. An employer may, however, prohibit the use of intoxicating substances during work hours or discipline an employee for being under the influence of intoxicating substances during work hours.

Click here to read the opinion. Employers with questions about the decision's impact on workplace policies and practices are advised to contact a knowledgeable employment law attorney.

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