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Summary of differences between federal and state regulations
Medical marijuana cardholders are exempt from state prosecution for possession of marijuana. Employers are not required to allow marijuana in the workplace.
An employer is not required to modify a job or working conditions for a medical marijuana user based upon reasonable businesses purposes, but the employer must attempt to make reasonable accommodations in certain circumstances.
An employer must accommodate the medical needs of an employee who engages in the medical use of marijuana if the accommodation would not pose a threat, impose undue hardship on the employer, or prohibit the employee from fulfilling any and all job responsibilities.
Freeman Expositions, LLC v. Eighth Judicial District Court, December 1, 2022
The Nevada court considered whether an employee with a medical marijuana card can sue an employer when a reasonable accommodation is not considered.
In this case, an employee who had a medical marijuana card was required to take a drug test after a workplace incident. The employee tested positive and was fired, and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the employer. One of the questions before the court was whether or not an employee with a medical marijuana card has the right to take an employer to court for failure to consider the reasonable accommodation of off-duty medical marijuana use.
The court ruled that the employee could bring a claim against an employer under the state’s medical marijuana law, because the state statute requires an employer to attempt to make a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s medical needs if it would not pose a threat of harm or danger.
The court did not consider whether or not the termination was lawful, or whether an accommodation needs to be considered after a workplace accident, but instead only looked at whether the employee could bring a claim against the employer under state law.
In Nevada, employers should pause before taking an employment action because of a positive drug test if an employee has a medical marijuana card. Reasonable accommodations should be considered.
A person over age 21 may use and possess a limited amount of marijuana. An employer may restrict marijuana use. A public or private employer may maintain, enact, and enforce a workplace policy prohibiting or restricting actions or conduct otherwise permitted under the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act.
As of January 1, 2020, employers may not (with a few exceptions) deny employment to a prospective employee based on a positive drug test for marijuana. For details, see Marijuana Testing in the Drug Testing section.
Department of Health and Human Services, Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health
NAC Chapter 453A—Medical Use of Marijuana Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act
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['Drug and Alcohol Testing']
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