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Pennsylvania Employer Facing Lawsuit Over Marijuana Drug Test

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A Pennsylvania senior living retirement community is facing a federal lawsuit over claims it denied employment based on a positive marijuana drug test.

According to a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the plaintiff suffered from PTSD and anxiety disorder and was a certified user of medical marijuana under Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act (MMA). After receiving a conditional offer to work as a resident care assistant, the plaintiff provided a urine sample for a drug test and provided the employer’s physician and the medical review officer her medical marijuana card.

Following the drug test, the plaintiff alleges she received an email rescinding the conditional employment offer citing “information collected during the pre-employment screening process.” The plaintiff claims the provided reasoning was “mere pretext to mask the true discriminatory reason” behind the employer’s decision which allegedly was based on the positive drug test for marijuana. 

In filing the complaint, the plaintiff alleges the employer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the MMA which prohibits employers from discharging, refusing to hire or otherwise discriminating against an employee based on their status as a certified medical marijuana user. 

Pennsylvania, along with other states like New Jersey, is becoming a hot bed of litigation over employer actions taken following a positive marijuana drug test. Employers subject to the MMA should review their drug testing and workplace policies accordingly.

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