Firing employee for off-duty marijuana use legal, says Colorado Supreme Court

June 15, 2015 0 COMMENTS

by Emily Hobbs-Wright

In a nationally awaited decision, the Colorado Supreme Court has upheld an employer’s termination of an employee who tested positive for marijuana because of his off-duty, off-premises marijuana use.

The court issued a narrow decision on June 15 in Coats v. Dish Network, LLC. It turned on the fact that marijuana use remains illegal under federal law. Construing the term “lawful” to encompass activities that are permitted by both state and federal law, the court ruled that the employee’s off-duty marijuana use wasn’t a protected activity within the meaning of Colorado’s lawful activities statute because marijuana use remains unlawful under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

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Changes to West Virginia wage payment act go into effect today

July 12, 2013 0 COMMENTS

by Susan Llewellyn Deniker

Amendments to the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act (WPCA) go into effect today, changing the rules on when discharged employees must be given their final paycheck.

Under the old law, discharged employees had to be paid all wages owed within 72 hours of termination. This year, the legislature amended the WPCA to allow discharged employees to be paid no later than the next payday or within four business days, whichever comes first. Business days are defined as any day other than Saturdays, Sundays, or legal holidays.

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Ruling supports firing pot smokers despite Colorado law

April 29, 2013 0 COMMENTS

The Colorado Court of Appeals has upheld an employee’s firing for off-duty marijuana use, despite medical and recreational use of the drug being allowed under state law.

A quadriplegic employee who used marijuana under the state’s medical marijuana amendment filed a lawsuit after he tested positive for drugs in violation of company policy and was fired. He claimed his employer violated the Colorado’s lawful off-duty activity statute, which prohibits termination for any “lawful activity” conducted off an employer’s premises during nonworking hours.

In its April 25th ruling, the appeals court held that the employee’s use of marijuana wasn’t lawful activity because “for an activity to be ‘lawful’ in Colorado, it must be permitted by, and not contrary to, both state and federal law.” Since marijuana use is illegal under federal law, the employer didn’t violate the law in terminating the employee.

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NLRB Backs Employee’s Right to Bad-Mouth Supervisor on Facebook

November 05, 2010 2 COMMENTS

by Jonathan Sterling and James Goodfellow

An employer’s blogging and social networking policy that prohibits employees from posting disparaging comments online about coworkers or their employer has been deemed unlawful by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

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