N.J.: Bill Would Bar Workplace Bias Against Medical Marijuana Users

By Diane Cadrain Jul 10, 2014

Assembly Bill 3438, introduced on June 23, 2014, would bar employers from taking any adverse actions based on a person’s legally authorized consumption of medical marijuana. The proposal contains an exception for employers who can show, by clear and convincing evidence, that the person’s authorized use of medical marijuana has had or would have a significant detrimental impact on that person’s job performance.

A different exception applies in the case of discharges. If an employer discharges someone in connection with their authorized use of medical marijuana, under this proposal the company would have to show clear and convincing evidence that the employee could not have reasonably been transferred to another position in which its authorized use would not affect job performance.

The proposal defines the term “adverse employment action” to include refusing to hire, discharging, requiring retirement, or discriminating in compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.

Rep. Linda Stender, who introduced the legislation, told NJ.Com that the proposal responds to patients who claim the program has failed them, particularly parents with severely ill children, and people whose diseases are not recognized by the state. According to the media, the program was serving 2,342 patients as of mid-June.

The bill is currently before the Assembly Committee on Health and Senior Services.

Diane Cadrain is an attorney who has been writing about employment law issues for more than 20 years.


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