By Dawn Gibson
The employer operates a food processing plant where the claimant worked on the production line. The claimant tested positive for marijuana and was discharged under the employer’s zero tolerance policy.
The Employer’s Evidence: The employer testified the claimant was asked to take a urine test under reasonable suspicion that he was under the influence of drugs. Due to the employer’s worksite containing a lot of heavy machinery and sharp tools, the employer has a zero tolerance policy regarding drugs and alcohol. He also noted that the claimant’s job is classified as safety sensitive. Unfortunately, the claimant tested positive for marijuana. At the hearing, the employer presented the complete drug and alcohol policy. The policy prohibits the use of any controlled substance that is not medically prescribed. It also specifically stated that marijuana was one of the prohibited substances. Later, the employer produced the claimant’s test results and the chain of custody documentation. He also presented the Medical Review Officer (MRO) to testify to the test results. The Claimant’s: The claimant testified that he was aware of the employer’s policy. He stated that he had eaten some marijuana two days prior to the test. However, the claimant presented a physician’s certification and medical marijuana card. He also indicated that he was on light duty, and therefore not participating in any safety sensitive activity.
The Hearing Officer found:
The employer appealed. The employer argued:
The Board of Review (Board) reversed the decision stating that:
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Please remember: Unemployment laws vary from state to state. The results in this case might be different from a case in your state. Also, always consult with your own legal counsel and advisors concerning your specific situation.