Employer May Revoke Employment Offer If You Test Positive for Marijuana
Even with an MMMA Card, a potential employer can revoke an employment offer if you test positive for Marijuana.
Although you may have a medical marijuana card that
affords you certain protections under the Michigan Medical Marijauna Act
(MMMA), the Michigan Court of Appeals held in a published decision that the Act
does not prevent a potential employer from rescinding a conditional offer of
employment if a potential employee tests positive for THC during a drug screen
that is part of the hiring process.
In Eplee v City
of Lansing, ___ Mich App __ (No. 342404, 2/19/19), Ms. Eplee had a valid
registry identification card when she was interviewed for an employment
position. The employer extended a conditional offer of employment that included
a requirement that she submit to drug testing. Ms. Eplee informed one of the
supervisors during the hiring process that she was a registered qualifying
patient under the MMMA. After Ms. Eplee tested positive for THC, she provided
documentation that she was a registered qualifying patient. Thereafter, the
employer formally rescinded the offer of employment without explanation.
Ms. Eplee argued that her status as a registered qualifying patient under the MMMA protects her from any adverse employment consequences once the employer becomes aware of her medical marijuana use. The Court of Appeals disagreed, holding that, while the MMMA affords certain immunity protections, it does not create affirmative rights. Michigan law provides that employment relationships are terminable at the will of either party and Ms. Eplee was unable to demonstrate that her conditional offer was for anything other than at-will employment. Notably, the Court held, “If the [employer] would have been able to terminate [Ms. Eplee’s] employment at any time after her employment began for any or no reason, it logically follows that the [employer] could rescind its conditional offer of employment at any time and for any or no reason at all.”