A New Jersey appeals court has reopened the lawsuit of a funeral director who was fired after his employer found out he was using medical marijuana.
Justin Wild’s suit claimed he was unlawfully discriminated against for using medical marijuana as part of his cancer treatment as permitted under the state’s Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act. A trial judge held Wild’s Law Against Discrimination suit could not go forward because nothing in the Compassionate Use Act requires an employer to accommodate a medical marijuana user.
But on appeal, Judges Clarkson Fisher Jr., Richard Hoffman and Karen Suter disagreed, holding that “because the Compassionate Use Act declared it should not be construed to ‘require’ an accommodation does not mean such a requirement might not be imposed by other legislation.”
Fisher, writing for the panel, said the Compassionate Use Act’s refusal to provide an employment accommodation for a user “does not mean that the Compassionate Use Act has immunized employers from obligations already imposed elsewhere. It would be ironic indeed if the Compassionate Use Act limited the Law Against Discrimination to permit an employer’s termination of a cancer patient’s employment by discriminating without compassion.”