News & Analysis as of

MA Supreme Judicial Court

Balancing Undue Hardship and Reasonable Accommodation with Employees Using Medical Marijuana Lights Up in Massachusetts Court

by LeClairRyan on

In a recent case, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (the “SJC”) held that medical marijuana may constitute a “reasonable accommodation” for employees.  As a result, employers may not terminate employees for failing...more

SJC Holds that Drop-Shipper has Burden of Proving Sales Were Not Subject to Sales Tax; Is Liable for Tax

by Reed Smith on

In D & H Distributing Company v. Commissioner, the Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) considered whether the taxpayer, a distributor located outside of Massachusetts, bore the burden of proving that a drop shipment to a...more

Zero Tolerance Drug Testing Policies in the Age of Medical Marijuana

by Pepper Hamilton LLP on

Q:  My Company wants to institute a drug testing policy that would automatically disqualify an applicant for employment if they test positive for illegal drugs, including medically-prescribed marijuana. Is this legal?...more

Medical Marijuana on Campus: Barbuto's Impact on School Policies Banning Drug Use

by Holland & Knight LLP on

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently ruled in Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing, LLC that an employee's use of medical marijuana to treat a qualified disability may be a reasonable accommodation under...more

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Holds Insurers’ Duty to Defend Does Not Extend to Counterclaims

A recent decision by Massachusetts’ highest court provides another reason why employers should carefully review their employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) policies. Unless the policy expressly covers counterclaims,...more

Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Users Can Sue For Failure to Accommodate a Disability

by Clark Hill PLC on

In Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing (ASM), the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently ruled that employees can sue employers for failure to accommodate a disability if they are terminated or otherwise...more

Another Employer’s Defense in Disability/Medical Marijuana Case Goes Up in Smoke

by Shipman & Goodwin LLP on

Many states have approved the use of medical marijuana, despite the fact that the federal government continues to classify marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance. As a result there is a tension between state rights to...more

Mass. Court Clouds Marijuana in the Workplace Issues

by Foley & Lardner LLP on

A recent unanimous decision by the highest state court in Massachusetts sends a warning signal to employers in all states. Marijuana in the workplace is a complex and unsettled legal issue that will require all employers to...more

“Drop Shipment” Sales Tax Rule Is Held Constitutional

In D & H Distributors, Inc. v. Commissioner of Revenue (July 31, 2017), the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) upheld the imposition of sales tax against a wholesaler that delivered goods directly to consumers in...more

Thinking Out Loud About Medical Marijuana And Reasonable Accommodation

(When I think out loud, beware.)- Ellen Kearns’ discussion of last week’s decision in Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing, in which the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that employers may have to accommodate...more

Massachusetts’s Highest Court Rules that Employee Fired for Medical Marijuana Use Can Hold Employer Liable for Discrimination

by K&L Gates LLP on

In a groundbreaking decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) ruled recently week that employees in Massachusetts who have a legal prescription for medical marijuana can sue their employers for disability...more

Massachusetts High Court Rules That State Law Does Not Authorize Officials to Honor ICE Detainers

by Foley Hoag LLP on

On July 24, 2017, in the case Lunn v. Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (“SJC”) ruled that state and local officials are not authorized to arrest immigrants based on civil immigration detainers issued by...more

Massachusetts Supreme Court Finds Medical Marijuana Users Protected from Adverse Employment Action

Beginning when the first states legalized use of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes, employers began speculating whether legislatures and courts in those states would continue to permit employers to exclude...more

Massachusetts Employers May Have To Accommodate Use Of Medical Marijuana, Court Says

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled this week that an employee’s use of medical marijuana to treat her disability may have to be reasonably accommodated under the state’s handicap discrimination law. In Barbuto...more

Massachusetts Supreme Court Holds Employee Can Pursue State Law Disability Discrimination Claim for Failure to Accommodate...

by BakerHostetler on

On July 17, 2017, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court concluded that an employee could sue her employers for state law disability discrimination for failing to accommodate her use of medical marijuana after she failed to...more

Use Of Medicinal Marijuana Not A Facially Unreasonable Accommodation Under Massachusetts Employment Discrimination Law

by DeWitt Law, LLC on

In a case that may be a precursor of things to come across the country as more and more states “legalize” the medicinal use of marijuana, in a July 17, 2017 decision in Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing, LLC, SJC...more

Medical Marijuana in the Workplace: An Employee's Balm; an Employer's Bane

by Bowditch & Dewey on

On July 17th, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that Massachusetts employers may not terminate an employee merely because of his or her off-site use of medical marijuana. According to the Court, the use of medically-prescribed...more

Massachusetts: Medical Marijuana as a Reasonable Accommodation in the Workplace

As our readers know, we have been monitoring decisions regarding the ability of employers to take disciplinary action against employees for using marijuana at work. The most recent high court to weigh in on this topic is the...more

Claim Of Massachusetts Employee Fired For Medical Marijuana Use May Proceed, State High Court Rules

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

An employee fired after she tested positive for marijuana on a test administered in the hiring process should be able to proceed with her “handicap discrimination” claim under Massachusetts’ anti-discrimination statute, the...more

Will Employers Be Forced To Accommodate Employees Who Test Positive For Marijuana?

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

On July 17, 2017 the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that under the Massachusetts Anti-Discrimination law an employer may be required to accommodate an employee who is a current user of medical marijuana regardless...more

Massachusetts SJC: Medical Marijuana Users May Be Safe from Employer Discrimination

by Morgan Lewis on

In a landmark decision that is likely to influence other states, a recent ruling in Massachusetts protects medical marijuana users against discrimination by their employers absent undue hardship....more

Medical Marijuana User’s Disability Discrimination Claim Survives Employer’s Motion to Dismiss in Massachusetts

by Benesch on

In a decision that is the first of its kind, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts reversed the dismissal of a state law disability discrimination claim arising from an employee’s request for a reasonable accommodation...more

MA Employers Beware: Employees Have a Right to Use Medical Marijuana

by Burns & Levinson LLP on

In a recent decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has made it clear that employers cannot take action against employees who lawfully uses medical marijuana, as doing so is tantamount to denying a request for a...more

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Creates Employer Obligation to Accommodate Employees Using Medical Marijuana

by Littler on

On July 17, 2017, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court unanimously held that an employee may pursue a disability discrimination claim under state law against her former employer for failing to accommodate the employee’s...more

Massachusetts Permits Disability Discrimination Claims Based on Medical Marijuana Use

On July 17, 2017, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in Barbuto v. Advantage Sales & Marketing, LLC, that an employee using medical marijuana in treatment of a chronic illness may qualify for protection against...more

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