Arkansas amended its Constitution in 2016 to allow the medical use of marijuana.
The Amendment also protects employees who have a medical need for marijuana from discrimination. The Amendment specifically states that an employer may not discriminate against any employee or any person applying for employment based on their use of medical marijuana.
This means that an employer cannot offer you a job then revoke it after you test positive for marijuana on a pre-employment drug test based on your use of medical marijuana. An employer also cannot fire you when they find out you use medical marijuana to treat your medical condition.
The protections are not unlimited, however. An employee cannot use or possess medical marijuana at their workplace. Nor can an employee work while under the influence of medical marijuana. The law only protects employees who use medical marijuana to treat their conditions outside of work hours.
There are also some types of jobs that are exempt. These are known as “safety-sensitive” positions and typically involve highly dangerous conditions. Examples of these safety-sensitive positions would be jobs requiring the employee to carry a firearm, jobs that involve explosive or hazardous materials, and jobs requiring the use of heavy machinery.
The Amendment allows employers to continue drug-testing employees pursuant to a drug-free workplace policy. They may not terminate an employee or revoke a job offer based on a positive result for marijuana if that person is a qualified patient unless it involves a “safety-sensitive” position. An employee or applicant must inform the employer, testing facility staff, or the medical review officer that they are a qualified patient to be protected under the Amendment.
Do you feel that your employer or a company you applied to work for in Arkansas has discriminated against you based on your use of medical marijuana? If so, call us at (855) 825-5916 to learn about your legal rights.