Colorado Supreme Court Upholds Firing Of Medical Marijuana-Smoking Dish Employee

COLORADO: The Colorado Supreme Court affirmed Monday a lower courts’ rulings to uphold the firing of an employee for using medical marijuana while not on duty.

The case involved Dish Network employee Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic who smoked marijuana at home to control seizures. Coats failed a random drug test in 2010 and Dish, citing its zero-tolerance policy of drug use, fired him.

Coats sued, but lost at trial court, the Colorado Court of Appeals and now the Colorado Supreme Court, which ruled 6-0 that Dish had the right to fire him.

 

Big Marijuana Decision Coming Monday

COLORADO:  A highly anticipated Colorado Supreme Court decision on an employee’s right to use marijuana will come out Monday.

Brandon Coats maintains he was improperly fired from his job at Dish Network in 2010 after testing positive for marijuana. Coats, a quadriplegic, worked as a customer service representative for the company for years.

Lower courts have repeatedly ruled in Dish Network‘s favor, but last year the Colorado Supreme Court agreed to hear his case. The decision could impact businesses across the state as they continue to employ not only medical marijuana users but recreational users as well.

 

US Supreme Court Reject’s Florida Drug Testing Appeal

FLORIDA: The US Supreme Court Monday declined to review a lower court ruling that found unconstitutional Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s (R) plan to randomly drug test state employees.

The decision by the nation’s highest court means that the ruling by the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals finding the plan unconstitutional stands.

The drug test-happy governor had issued an executive order in March 2011 directing all state agencies to drug test new hires and randomly test current employees. But that order was challenged by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Council 79, representing state workers.

Fired For Legally Smoking Pot: The Coming Colorado Crackdown

COLORADO: On New Year’s Day, Colorado became the first state in which it’s legal to recreationally smoke pot. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a fireable offense. Under U.S. law, private companies can fire employees for almost anything they do at home or at work. And while Colorado has bucked the trend by banning firings for “lawful” outside-work activities, that protection doesn’t extend to pot.

“I’m not going to get better any time soon,” paraplegic plaintiff Brandon Coats told reporters after his 2010 firing by Dish Network was upheld in a precedent-setting Colorado Court of Appeals case last April. “I need the marijuana, and I don’t want to go the rest of my life without holding a job.” [Read more…]

Fired For Legally Smoking Pot: The Coming Colorado Crackdown

COLORADO: On New Year’s Day, Colorado became the first state in which it’s legal to recreationally smoke pot. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a fireable offense. Under U.S. law, private companies can fire employees for almost anything they do at home or at work. And while Colorado has bucked the trend by banning firings for “lawful” outside-work activities, that protection doesn’t extend to pot.

“I’m not going to get better any time soon,” paraplegic plaintiff Brandon Coats told reporters after his 2010 firing by Dish Network was upheld in a precedent-setting Colorado Court of Appeals case last April. “I need the marijuana, and I don’t want to go the rest of my life without holding a job.” [Read more…]