Legal Updates & Alerts

Marijuana Accommodation has Gone to Pot: Oregon Supreme Court Ruling Eliminates Protections

April 22, 2010

On April 14, 2010, The Oregon Supreme Court held that Oregon's disability discrimination laws do not require an employer to accommodate an employee's use of medical marijuana. Emerald Steel Fabricators, Inc. v. Bureau of Labor and Industries, --- P.3d ---, 2010 WL 1490352 (Or).

This decision finally gives employers the right to make employment decisions about illegal drug use, including marijuana, regardless of whether the employee's marijuana use is under the Medical Marijuana Act.  Specifically it means that (1) if an employer has a drug policy that prohibits the use of illegal drugs, it may follow its drug policy, which may include terminating any employee who violates the policy; and (2) a medical marijuana card holder has no legal right to demand, as a reasonable accommodation, that he/she be allowed to use medical marijuana, even if that use is outside the work premises.