Employer Liable for Firing Cardholder Over Positive Drug Test

Arizona Employment Law Letter
Employment & Labor Law
Jodi R. Bohr

In November 2010, Arizona voters passed the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) by ballot initiative. Under the AMMA, an employer may not discriminate against a registered medical marijuana cardholder in hiring, firing, or any term or condition of employment or otherwise penalize a cardholder for testing positive for marijuana components or metabolites unless its failure to take adverse action would cause it to lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit under federal law.

The AMMA does not prohibit employers from taking adverse employment actions against registered cardholders for using, possessing, or being impaired by marijuana at the workplace or during working hours. However, the fact that a cardholder tests positive for the presence of metabolites or components of marijuana doesn’t necessarily mean she is under the influence. Therefore, you should seek the advice of counsel on your next steps if a cardholder tests positive for marijuana.

Read more from Jodi Bohr about employer liability and medical marijuana cardholders.