A Connecticut Federal District Court judge ruled on August 8, 2017 that an employer may violate state law by refusing to hire an applicant who tests positive for marijuana where the applicant is a lawful user of medical marijuana under Connecticut Law.
In Noffsinger v. SSC Niantic Operating Company, LLC, the plaintiff was recruited by the defendant for a position as director of recreational therapy at a nursing facility. She was offered the position during the interview and accepted it the next day. The plaintiff was required to undergo a routine drug screen as a condition of employment. Prior to the drug screen, she informed the defendant that she was registered as a “qualifying patient” authorized to use medical marijuana to treat her post-traumatic stress disorder. The plaintiff explained that she only took Marinol (a synthetic form of cannabis) in the evening before bed and was never impaired during the workday. The plaintiff took the pre-employment drug test and tested positive for cannabis. Thereafter, the defendant withdrew its offer of employment, and the plaintiff filed a complaint alleging: (a) violation of Connecticut law prohibiting discrimination against qualifying patients; (b) a common law claim for wrongful rescission of a job offer in violation of public policy; and (c) negligent infliction of emotional distress. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the claims.