On September 5, 2018, in Noffsinger v. SSC Niantic Operating Co., the District Court of Connecticut held that, under the Connecticut Palliative Use of Marijuana Act (“PUMA”), employers are prohibited from refusing to hire a person because of the person’s status as a qualifying medical marijuana patient, which includes refusing to hire someone because they failed to pass a drug test for marijuana. This case makes it clear that anyone who is prescribed marijuana or a marijuana derivative does not need to choose between taking their medication and losing an employment opportunity.
In Noffsinger, Plaintiff Katelin Noffsinger accepted a job offer from Defendant SSC Niantic Operating Company, LLC d/b/a Bride Brook Health & Rehabilitation Center (the “Center”). The offer was contingent on drug testing, and Ms. Noffsinger told the Center that she was qualified under PUMA to use marijuana for medical purposes to treat her post-traumatic stress disorder, which she was diagnosed with in 2012 after being in a car accident, and related night terrors (marijuana generally prevents lucid or vivid dreams). After her drug test came back positive for THC consistent with the use of marijuana, the Center rescinded its job offer. The Center’s position was that it did not allow medical marijuana for its employees, so Ms. Noffsinger was disqualified for employment with them.