Monday 18 January the National Law Review reports….
A federal court in Pennsylvania held that a medical marijuana user’s claims for disability discrimination and retaliation were sufficiently alleged to survive the employer’s motion to dismiss. Hudnell v. Jefferson University Hospitals, Inc., Civil Action No. 20-01621 (E.D. Pa. Jan. 7, 2021).Hudnell v. Thomas Jefferson Univ. Hosps
The employer terminated the employee’s employment after she tested positive for marijuana on a return-to-duty drug test. The employee’s medical marijuana card was expired at the time she tested positive. However, she subsequently renewed it and provided a doctor’s note stating her positive test was consistent with her prescription (pre-expiration).
In September 2020, the employer moved to dismiss the employee’s claims for violation of the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act (MMA), disability discrimination and retaliation. See Hudnell v. Jefferson University Hospitals, Inc., Civil Action No. 20-01621 (E.D. Pa. Sept. 25, 2020). The court denied the motion with respect to the MMA claim, but dismissed without prejudice disability discrimination and retaliation claims due the employee’s failure to exhaust her administrative remedies. We blogged about that decision here.
After exhausting her administrative remedies under the Pennsylvania Human Rights Act (PHRA) and Philadelphia Fair Practice Ordinance (PFPO), the employee re-asserted her disability discrimination and retaliation claims. The employee specifically claimed the employer failed to accommodate her disability and terminated her employment in retaliation for requesting accommodations.