Woman fired after drug test despite having medical marijuana card

Posted at 11:23 PM, Dec 30, 2019

A now ex-employee of the Crosby Group says she was wrongly fired for using medical marijuana.

The Tulsa woman who reached out wanted to remain anonymous because she is currently looking for employment for the first time in seven years.

The company she had been working for was bought by a different corporation she says that's when her problem began.

"It’s just heart breaking that I would lose my job after seven years over this," said the Crosby Group ex-employee.

Now she says she has no way to pay for the roof over her head.

"I just bought a house that’s going to greatly affect me," she said.

She’d been working as a supervisor for Gunnebo Industries who accepted her medical marijuana card even if a drug test showed THC in her system.

"When the medical marijuana bills came in, they honored that as long as we didn’t come into work or distribute it or just have it at work or be under the influence it was okay,” she said.

Gunnebo industries was acquired by Crosby Group earlier this year in May, she decided to speak with the Human Resources Department in November.

"When the Crosby Group came in and bought us, I was very vocal," said the Crosby Group ex-employee. "I asked the director of human resources from the Crosby Group if they honored the medical marijuana card he said 'yes as long as you don’t come to work under the influence, bring it to work, distribute it at work'."

However, after she and other employees re-took their employment drug test for the Crosby Group, that was not the case.

"The only follow-up conversation I had was when they handed me my termination papers and said we are terminating you as of Dec. 31 but you can no longer work here because you have T-H-C in your system," she said.

Which came to her as a shock.

"What’s the point of having it," said the Crosby Group ex-employee said. "What’s the point of having a card if you can't have a good job?!"

However, 23-year veteran lawyer, Michael French, says situation like this will only become more common.

"It's still in its infancy, medical marijuana, there haven’t been enough cases that have gone through the court of appeals and there’s some uncertainty as to the chain of liability that would attach to it," said Michael French.

He says that means different companies can approach medical marijuana differently.

“The fact that you have happen to have legal permission to use it for health reasons doesn’t mean your employer has to accept that," French said.

The Crosby Group code of conduct brochure in part states: “We must comply with all laws and regulations regarding the use or possession of alcohol, illegal drugs, and controlled substances.”

The Crosby Group ex-employee says she did know and follow that policy, but claims she wasn’t properly made aware of the companies marijuana policy.

"The problem is, if they would have said that in the beginning me and other employees would still have our jobs, they never told us about their medical marijuana policies in the beginning," the Crosby Group ex-employee said.

If you have a medical marijuana card, French says to get the “okay” from your company in writing.

"There’s no way to predict in what way it could impact employment because there hasn’t been any precedent," French said. "It hasn’t been explored yet and medical marijuana isn’t accepted in all states."

This article was written by Dane Hawkins for KJRH .