Andrew Easto – Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing

Andrew Easto – Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing

 Andrew Easto 477 Mass. 456 (2017) 78 N.E.3d 37, 33 A.D. Cases 967 Summary Under Massachusetts law, an accommodation for an employee’s medical marijuana use is not per se unreasonable – despite possession of marijuana being illegal under Federal law. The employer thus has the burden to prove that a medical marijuana accommodation would pose an undue hardship to their business. The Supreme Court gave three (non-exhaustive) examples where such a hardship arises: (1) the employee’s work performance would be impaired; (2) an “unacceptably significant” safety risk is posed to the employee, their co-workers, or the public; or (3) the employee’s marijuana use would violate the employer’s statutory or contractual obligations, therefore jeopardizing the employer’s ability to conduct its business. For the third category, the Court recognized transportation employers, federal government contractors, and recipients of federal grants as employers with such statutory obligations under federal law. Overview: Facts & Lower Courts The plaintiff, Cristina Barbuto, used small quantities of medicinal marijuana as treatment for her Crohn’s disease. Barbuto was hired by the defendant, Advantage Sales and Marketing (ASM) in 2014. Upon hiring Barbuto, ASM required she take a mandatory drug test. Barbuto informed her to-be supervisor at ASM that she was a qualifying medical marijuana patient under Massachusetts law, adding that she did not take the medical marijuana before work or at work. Barbuto’s supervisor informed her that her lawful use of medical marijuana would not be a problem for ASM. Barbuto submitted a urine sample for the mandatory drug test and completed her first day of work the next week. At no point did she take marijuana at work, nor did she report to work under the influence of the drug. Following her first day of work, an ASM Human Resources representative informed Barbuto that her employment was terminated due to…

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Source : Andrew Easto – Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing

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