A Pennsylvania judge ruled Nov. 10 that an employee’s off-duty use of medical marijuana doesn’t qualify as a “disability” under the state’s Human Relations Act (PHRA).
Pamela Palmiter, a certified medical marijuana user, worked at Moses Taylor Hospital and was fired in January 2019 after a positive drug test for marijuana.
Palmiter filed two lawsuits against the hospital, claiming it violated the state Medical Marijuana Act (MMA) and the PHRA.
She argued her medical marijuana use was a “disability” under the PHRA, according to a blog post by law firm Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads.
The judge ruled the PHRA’s definition of “disability” excludes current, legal use of a controlled substance as defined in the federal Controlled Substances Act and there was no requirement for employers to accommodate use, even when legally prescribed under the MMA.
However, this decision does not address whether an employee can assert claims against an employer under the MMA.