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February 4 2016

Washington Court Dismisses Medical Marijuana Claims Asserted By Employee

Another Washington court has held that an employer lawfully may terminate an employee for using marijuana, even when the employee had a prescription and used it off-duty.
 
After a workplace injury, Safeway tested its employee, Swaw, for drugs. Swaw tested positive for marijuana due to the use of medical marijuana outside of work, subject to a valid prescription. Safeway terminated him for testing positive for a controlled substance pursuant to its drug-free workplace policy. Swaw brought suit, alleging his former employer unlawfully discriminated against him on the basis of a disability.
 
The Court dismissed all of Swaw's claims, holding that Washington law does not impose upon employers a duty to accommodate medical marijuana in drug-free workplaces and that users of an illegal intoxicant are not a protected class.