ACLU puts WalMart back in the hot seat

Angry WalMartDoesn’t it feel like just yesterday that WalMart was paying out $86 million to settle a wage lawsuit? Well, the world’s largest retailer is about to head to court again, this time courtesy of the American Civil Liberties Union.

On Tuesday the ACLU filed a lawsuit against WalMart on behalf of an employee, who informed his bosses that he was using medical marijuana, but was fired anyway after failing a drug test.

Joseph Casias, a husband and father of two with a rare form of cancer in his nasal cavity and brain, was let go by the retailer in November 2009…even though a doctor verified his illness and need for medical marijuana.  WalMart said that while they sympathized with the employee and his situation, they had to “put the safety of their customers and associates first.”

Casias said that the marijuana was not for recreational purposes and he never went to work high. And while WalMart claims that the positive drug test proves that Casias was high at work, marijuana is stored in the body’s fat cells and can remain there for up to several days.  In other words, Casias could have smoked a week ago, outside of work, and still have tested positive.

“No patient should be forced to choose between adequate pain relief and gainful employment, and no employer should be allowed to intrude upon private medical choices made by employees in consultation with their doctors,” said Scott Michelman, staff attorney with the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project.

While medical marijuana is legal in Michigan, where Casias worked and where the ACLU filed the lawsuit, Michelman believes that the lawsuit will help establish the limits of protection extended to employees who use marijuana to control chronic pain.

Casias was voted Most Valuable Associate in 2008 by the WalMart where he worked.  Yet because of a medical situation and chronic pain that he previously informed his employers of, he lost his job and means to support his family.

Do you believe that medical marijuana should be treated differently in the workplace than other medications, such as prescribed painkillers?  Leave your thoughts in the comment box below.

FacebookGoogle ReaderTumblrDiggDeliciousShare
This entry was posted on Thursday, July 1st, 2010 at 3:08 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “ACLU puts WalMart back in the hot seat”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AmericanRightsAtWork. AmericanRightsAtWork said: New blog post at ARAW's Blog at Work! #walmart #aclu #marijuana […]

  2. costamjest says:

    Great goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you’re just extremely fantastic. I actually like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it wise. I can not wait to read far more from you. This is actually a tremendous web site.

  3. Lala Gesner says:

    Thanks for discussing your ideas in this article. The other point is that any time a problem comes up with a computer system motherboard, people should not consider the risk associated with repairing this themselves because if it is not done correctly it can lead to irreparable damage to the full laptop. It will always be safe just to approach the dealer of that laptop for that repair of motherboard. They have technicians who may have an know-how in dealing with laptop computer motherboard problems and can make the right analysis and conduct repairs.

Leave a Reply