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You May Ask Yourself, Can Employers Fire Employees for Pot Use?


As more states jump onto the band wagon of legalizing marijuana use for both recreational and medical use, employers and lawmakers have been forced to adapt to these rapid changes. Despite these changes with the law, many employees still don’t understand whether their employment statuses are protected from being terminated for pot use. Depending on the law governing pot use in your state and the reason for marijuana use, your employer might have all rights to fire you.

Purpose of pot use

At the moment, about half of the states authorize medical marijuana use, but only after a doctor permits it. Under state laws, firing an employee authorized to use medical marijuana will quickly qualify as wrongful termination. It should be noted that marijuana use is still illegal under federal laws, including medical marijuana use. Nonetheless, permitted patients are only allowed to use medical marijuana when off-duty. Your boss may fire you for being under the influence during work hours.

While a few states permit recreational pot use, these laws can’t protect you from immediate contract termination. This applies to both off-duty and on-duty marijuana use. Your attorney will explain that these recreational marijuana laws don’t, at any point, affect your employer’s right to enforce zero tolerance on pot use at the workspace. In this case, your boss can fire employees for pot use.

Fire Employees for Pot Use after Improper drug tests

The above-discussed cases assume that your boss legally administered the drug tests. Should the drug test violate certain stipulated laws, the employer cannot fire employees for pot use regardless of the test results. While the state laws place certain restrictions on drug testing, federal regulations don’t stipulate any. If you suspect that your contract or employment termination resulted from illegal testing at work, your lawyer should guide you in fighting for a claim for wrongful termination.

In some states, employers aren’t allowed to test employers randomly unless:

  • The employee comes to work intoxicated.
  • The worker was involved in a work-related accident.
  • The individual holds a safety-sensitive post at work.
  • The individual just resumed work from drug rehabilitation.

Working With a Marijuana Wrongful Termination Attorney

We understand that these drug testing laws are difficult to comprehend, especially if you are trying to determine if your case was wrongful termination. We hope that this article addresses your concern about whether employers can fire employees for pot use. Contact us online or call today to schedule an appointment with a top attorney at our firm and let us help you win your Marijuana Wrongful Termination claim.

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