Fired for a medical treatment

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- An employee fired for his medicinal use of marijuana can't sue his employer for unlawful discrimination under California law, the state's top court ruled.

In a 5-2 ruling today, California's Supreme Court upheld a lower-court decision that plaintiff Gary Ross can't sue his employer, Ragingwire Telecommunications Inc., after it fired him for his off-duty medicinal smoking. [continued]
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aIJ90qlEwzdg&refer=home [Broken]

What a strange situation. Employers can fire people for smoking cigs or drinking, but in the case of a prescribed medical treatment this seems rather odd. Of course this again gets back to the feds stepping on State's rights; ie. the justification was federal law.

We threw the feds out of Oregon re pot and assisted suicide. :biggrin:
 
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  • #2
Amp1
The employer - I'm guessing is anti-marijuana - ironic though that he did something that marijuana is said to do... get you unemployed.

edit: he's the butt because he was supposedly doing something benificial for himself.
 
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  • #3
Evo
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An increasing number of employers require screening for illegal drugs. As the article states
Kennard agreed with the majority that Ross had no public policy-based claim because federal law makes marijuana possession and use illegal.
My company not only requires that you pass a drug test, you also have to pass a background check and a credit check. Apparently bad credit will get you fired. When I hired on, employment was contingent on passing all of these requirements. That was in your job offer letter that you had to agree to when you accepted the job. Last year a guy got fired a couple of months after being hired because he failed the background check.
 
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  • #4
Art
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aIJ90qlEwzdg&refer=home [Broken]

What a strange situation. Employers can fire people for smoking cigs or drinking, but in the case of a prescribed medical treatment this seems rather odd. :biggrin:
Depends on the job they're doing of course. Wouldn't be much consolation to know your pilot has a doctor's prescription for his 'pot' as you hear him exclaiming 'hey man, look at all the pretty lights' as you're coming in to land in LAX :biggrin:
 
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  • #5
Amp1
I suppose its like when those with DUIs exclaim "Wow theres nothing to driving".
 
  • #6
BobG
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An increasing number of employers require screening for illegal drugs. As the article states

My company not only requires that you pass a drug test, you also have to pass a background check and a credit check. Apparently bad credit will get you fired. When I hired on, employment was contingent on passing all of these requirements. That was in your job offer letter that you had to agree to when you accepted the job. Last year a guy got fired a couple of months after being hired because he failed the background check.
This trend bugs me. I think there should have to be some sort of correlation between the screening they do and the job a person is doing.

I can see requiring a background check of an applicants criminal record for a school teacher. You don't want a grade school teacher that's been convicted of molesting a kid.

In the case of pilots, there's restrictions for off-hours alcohol use, as well - both the anti-drug and anti-alcohol restrictions are for functional reasons.

It's harder to justify a drug test for an office worker. How's off hours drug use going to have a different effect than off hours alcohol use?
 
  • #7
Art
An increasing number of employers require screening for illegal drugs. As the article states

My company not only requires that you pass a drug test, you also have to pass a background check and a credit check. Apparently bad credit will get you fired. When I hired on, employment was contingent on passing all of these requirements. That was in your job offer letter that you had to agree to when you accepted the job. Last year a guy got fired a couple of months after being hired because he failed the background check.
As an equal bargaining partner couldn't you just have refused to sign and instead negotiated a contract you were happy with as Economist recommends :biggrin:

Any idea what the thinking is behind the credit check? I can't see how that relates to the job at all :confused: What happens if you default on a loan after you take up employment with them. Would they fire you?
 
  • #8
BobG
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As an equal bargaining partner couldn't you just have refused to sign and instead negotiated a contract you were happy with as Economist recommends :biggrin:

Any idea what the thinking is behind the credit check? I can't see how that relates to the job at all :confused: What happens if you default on a loan after you take up employment with them. Would they fire you?
Not if the folks that gave you the loan garnishee your wages.
 
  • #9
Evo
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As an equal bargaining partner couldn't you just have refused to sign and instead negotiated a contract you were happy with as Economist recommends :biggrin:
Right. :biggrin:

Any idea what the thinking is behind the credit check? I can't see how that relates to the job at all :confused: What happens if you default on a loan after you take up employment with them. Would they fire you?
My guess is someone with bad credit might be a risk for fraud, theft (material and intellectual), embezzling. As long as the employee keeps their nose clean, I don't believe they continue to do checks.
 
  • #10
Evo
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It's harder to justify a drug test for an office worker. How's off hours drug use going to have a different effect than off hours alcohol use?
If your blood alcohol level is too high on a test, I'm sure it raises a red flag.

At my company, we deal with sensitive records on the public. I personally work with (not for) a particular Government agency.
 
  • #11
EnumaElish
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If your blood alcohol level is too high on a test, I'm sure it raises a red flag.

At my company, we deal with sensitive records on the public. I personally work with (not for) a particular Government agency.
Aren't these checks a condition for working with government agencies?
 
  • #12
chemisttree
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http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aIJ90qlEwzdg&refer=home [Broken]

What a strange situation. Employers can fire people for smoking cigs or drinking, but in the case of a prescribed medical treatment this seems rather odd. Of course this again gets back to the feds stepping on State's rights; ie. the justification was federal law.

We threw the feds out of Oregon re pot and assisted suicide. :biggrin:
Smoking marijuana has not been tested for safety while the synthetic form of the active ingredient, found in the drug Marinol, has been FDA approved. If the plaintiff were serious about the nausea, he should be taking Marinol.

Likewise morphine is an approved product while smoking opium is not.

This is a case of State law stepping on Federal jurisdiction... not the other way around.
 
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  • #13
Evo
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Aren't these checks a condition for working with government agencies?
I would suppose so, but every company employee has to pass these checks. I am one of a small number that actually deals with the Federal Government.
 
  • #14
drankin
I think a company should be able to hire and fire as they choose. Regardless of reason.
 
  • #15
Ivan Seeking
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This is a case of State law stepping on Federal jurisdiction... not the other way around.
Why is this a matter of federal jurisdiction? Where does it say that in the Constitution? IIRC, if not specified, it defaults to State's rights. And in fact the State governments like Oregon's are claiming this right.

sidenote: I once had a potential employer tell me straight up that he wouldn't hire me if I went to church [Sunday conflict]! I had another one tell me that prayer during lunch meetings is required!!! So much for the law. It's still the wild west out here.
 
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  • #16
DrClapeyron
This issue was settled in 1865.
 
  • #17
chemisttree
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Why is this a matter of federal jurisdiction? Where does it say that in the Constitution? IIRC, if not specified, it defaults to State's rights. And in fact the State governments like Oregon's are claiming this right.

sidenote: I once had a potential employer tell me straight up that he wouldn't hire me if I went to church [Sunday conflict]! I had another one tell me that prayer during lunch meetings is required!!! So much for the law. It's still the wild west out here.
Since the passage of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act, any drug that is marketed in the United States must undergo rigorous scientific testing.
http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/ongoing/marinol.html [Broken]

Marijuana hasn't undergone rigorous scientific testing. Sorry, but that is the law. A lot of laws aren't specified in the Constitution... the Federal Government still has the right and mandate to enact them as it has regarding the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act. In this case the excipient is a known carcinogen! The Feds haven't gotten around to suing the states yet for political reasons. Kind of like not actually enforcing the laws on the books regarding immigration....

BTW. You don't have the right to any job you want under the constitution. Just the right not to be forced to work at one that conflicts with your religious beliefs. You might have a point about the employer that requires a lunch meeting prayer....
Why didn't you sue? (y'know, for your rights)
 
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  • #18
Ivan Seeking
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Laws can be challenged on the basis that they are unconstitutional. That is the basis for the ruckus here in Oregon. I don't know the exact state of this except that in spite of Bush's attempts at interference, assisted suicides are done routinely in Oregon. I also know that people do get or grow med pot legally. So perhaps as far as Oregon is concerned, you are right; this is settled.

Why didn't I sue? What proof do I have of what was said in a private interview. Besides, I wouldn't want to work for either employer. In fact I took great pleasure in turning down their job offers. :biggrin:
 
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  • #19
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Smoking marijuana has not been tested for safety while the synthetic form of the active ingredient, found in the drug Marinol, has been FDA approved. If the plaintiff were serious about the nausea, he should be taking Marinol.
The pill form is fine for nausea, but for someone who is vomiting every five minutes for the next three days after chemotherapy, they just don't work effectively.

Ironically even if the person is taking the pill form the drug test will still come back positive.
 
  • #20
Gokul43201
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Laws can be challenged on the basis that they are unconstitutional.
But what's the point of the FDA if states can go about allowing untested drugs to be prescribed? Are you suggesting that the FDA be decentralized, or altogether eliminated, or become merely advisory (not regulatory) in nature?
 
  • #21
Ivan Seeking
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I think the Constitution gives the State any right not specified othewise or prohibited by the Constitution. So it would be up to each State to honor the FDA standards or not; or to make exceptions when they seem appropriate. And this is what we see happening - the States asserting their rights in spite of the ranting of the Fed government. The business in California only happened because for the man involved, it is already legal for use in that State.

It could be considered herbal therapy. Besides, it may well be that the only reason that the FDA wouldn't approve it for use are the existing laws.

Where does the Constitution give the Fed government jurisdication over personal medical decisions?

Something else comes to mind here. When we went to Europe, Tsu had some problems and needed pain pills that are prescribed for her here in the States. We nearly panicked when her back went out in Holland because she didn't have any pills. I asked my cousin if he knew what to do, and he replied: "Just go get what you need. You can just buy it. ~ Here adults are treated like adults."
 
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  • #23
Evo
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I think the Constitution gives the State any right not specified othewise or prohibited by the Constitution.

It could be considered herbal therapy. Besides, it may well be that the only reason that the FDA wouldn't approve it for use are the existing laws.

Where does the Constitution give the Fed government jurisdication over personal medical decisions?
I believe that the point here is that is it illegal under federal law and the right in some states for flaky doctors to prescribe it in some states under "good samaritan" law does not make it legal. There are other drugs that are probably more effective that are legal. Marijuana has MANY down sides to it, it decreases productivity, it makes you tired, it makes you want to do nothing but eat and sleep. People, on marijuana have slower relexes, can't then think as clearly, there is a reason we gave them the derogatory name of "potheads". I lived through the 60's and heavy pot use. I tried pot. I'd bike to someone's house, they were all smoking pot, within an hour of breathing second hand smoke, I could barely cycle home to go to sleep. My day would be shot.

It does not kill pain. Unless you're so doped up that you don't realize you have an injury. Marijauna should not be legalized, it's bad stuff, it makes you lazy and hungry and have dry mouth.
 
  • #24
Ivan Seeking
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This is not about using pot. This is about how the Feds continually violate State's rights.

Besides, there clearly are many people and doctors who believe that pot does help with pain or nausea. As for being legal, it already is for this in a number of states...not sure how many now. As I said, we kicked the Feds out of Oregon, but I don't know what all has happened in this regard elsewhere.

Worthy of mention: The Governer personally went to war with Rummy when the Feds tried to come and take away our air defenses. Rummy lost and we still have our aircraft. For that I will vote for our Governer as long as he wants to be Governer.
 
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  • #25
Ivan Seeking
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I would also point out that saying pot doesn't help with pain or nausea is completely indefensible because pain is measured subjectively. There is no other way to do it.
 

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