State Laws Protecting Medical Marijuana Patients' Employment Rights

ARIZONA

Unless a failure to do so would cause an employer to lose a monetary or licensing related benefit under federal law or regulations, an employer may not discriminate against a person in hiring, termination or imposing any term or condition of employment or otherwise penalize a person based upon either:

1. The person's status as a cardholder.

2. A registered qualifying patient's positive drug test for marijuana components or metabolites, unless the patient used, possessed or was impaired by marijuana on the premises of the place of employment or during the hours of employment.

ARKANSAS

An employer shall not discriminate against an individual in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment, or otherwise penalize an individual, based upon the individual’s past or present status as a Qualifying Patient or Designated Caregiver.

CONNECTICUT

No employer may refuse to hire a person or may discharge, penalize or threaten an employee solely on the basis of such person’s or employee’s status as a qualifying patient or primary caregiver under sections 21a-408 to 21a-408n, inclusive. Nothing in this subdivision shall restrict an employer’s ability to prohibit the use of intoxicating substances during work hours or restrict an employer’s ability to discipline an employee for being under the influence of intoxicating substances during work hours.

DELAWARE

Unless a failure to do so would cause the employer to lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit under federal law or federal regulations, an employer may not discriminate against a person in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment, or otherwise penalize a person, if the discrimination is based upon either of the following:

a. The person's status as a cardholder; or

b. A registered qualifying patient's positive drug test for marijuana components or metabolites, unless the patient used, possessed, or was impaired by marijuana on the premises of the place of employment or during the hours of employment.

ILLINOIS

No school, employer, or landlord may refuse to enroll or lease to, or otherwise penalize, a person solely for his or her status as a registered qualifying patient or a registered designated caregiver, unless failing to do so would put the school, employer, or landlord in violation of federal law or unless failing to do so would cause it to lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit under federal law or rules.

No school, landlord, or employer may be penalized or denied any benefit under State law for enrolling, leasing to, or employing a cardholder.

MAINE

A school, employer or landlord may not refuse to enroll or employ or lease to or otherwise penalize a person solely for that person's status as a qualifying patient or a primary caregiver unless failing to do so would put the school, employer or landlord in violation of federal law or cause it to lose a federal contract or funding. This subsection does not prohibit a restriction on the administration or cultivation of marijuana on premises when that administration or cultivation would be inconsistent with the general use of the premises. A landlord or business owner may prohibit the smoking of marijuana for medical purposes on the premises of the landlord or business if the landlord or business owner prohibits all smoking on the premises and posts notice to that effect on the premises.

MINNESOTA

Unless a failure to do so would violate federal law or regulations or cause an employer to lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit under federal law or regulations, an employer may not discriminate against a person in hiring, termination, or any term or condition of employment, or otherwise penalize a person, if the discrimination is based upon either of the following:
(1) the person's status as a patient enrolled in the registry program under sections 152.22 to 152.37; or

(2) a patient's positive drug test for cannabis components or metabolites, unless the patient used, possessed, or was impaired by medical cannabis on the premises of the place of employment or during the hours of employment.

An employee who is required to undergo employer drug testing pursuant to section 181.953 may present verification of enrollment in the patient registry as part of the employee's explanation under section 181.953, subdivision 6.

NEVADA

NRS 453A.800 The provisions of this chapter do not:

Require any employer to allow the medical use of marijuana in the workplace.

Except as otherwise provided in subsection 4, require an employer to modify the job or working conditions of a person who engages in the medical use of marijuana that are based upon the reasonable business purposes of the employer but the employer must attempt to make reasonable accommodations for the medical needs of an employee who engages in the medical use of marijuana if the employee holds a valid registry identification card, provided that such reasonable accommodation would not:

(a) Pose a threat of harm or danger to persons or property or impose an undue hardship on the employer; or

(b) Prohibit the employee from fulfilling any and all of his or her job responsibilities.

Prohibit a law enforcement agency from adopting policies and procedures that preclude an employee from engaging in the medical use of marijuana.

As used in this section, “law enforcement agency” means:
(a) The Office of the Attorney General, the office of a district attorney within this State or the Nevada Gaming Control Board and any attorney, investigator, special investigator or employee who is acting in his or her professional or occupational capacity for such an office or the Nevada Gaming Control Board; or
(b) Any other law enforcement agency within this State and any peace officer or employee who is acting in his or her professional or occupational capacity for such an agency.

NEW YORK

Being a certified patient shall be deemed to behaving a "disability" under article fifteen of the executive law (human rights law), section forty-c of the civil rights law, sections 240.00, 485.00, and 485.05 of the penal law, and section 200.50 of the criminal procedure law. This subdivision shall not bar the enforcement of a policy prohibiting an employee from performing his or her employment duties while impaired by a controlled substance. This subdivision shall not require any person or entity to do any act that would put the person or entity in violation of federal law or cause it to lose a federal contract or funding.

PENNSYLVANIA

No employer may discharge, threaten, refuse to hire or otherwise discriminate or retaliate against an employee regarding an employee's compensation, terms, conditions, location or privileges solely on the basis of such employee's status as an individual who is certified to use medical marijuana.

Nothing in this act shall require an employer to make any accommodation of the use of medical marijuana on the property or premises of any place of employment. This act shall in no way limit an employer's ability to discipline an employee for being under the influence of medical marijuana in the workplace or for working while under the influence of medical marijuana when the employee's conduct falls below the standard of care normally accepted for that position.

Nothing in this act shall require an employer to commit any act that would put the employer or any person acting on its behalf in violation of Federal law.

RHODE ISLAND

No school, employer, or landlord may refuse to enroll, employ, or lease to, or otherwise penalize, a person solely for his or her status as a cardholder.