No Rite Aid Job for Medical Marijuana User Connecticut Class Action

If marijuana use is permitted in some states for medical use, what happens when such a patient applies for a job that requires a drug test? The complaint for this class action alleges that Rite Aid of Connecticut, Inc. and Maxi Drug, Inc. violated Connecticut law when they refused to hire the plaintiff in this case based on the results of his drug test. 

Plaintiff John Howell has one or more “debilitating medical condition(s),” the complaint says, as defined in the Connecticut General Statutes as part of the Connecticut Palliative Use of Marijuana Act (PUMA). Howell uses marijuana “to alleviate the symptoms” of his conditions. He is a “qualifying patient” registered with the Department of Consumer Protection and has a Connecticut Registration Certificate.

In October 2018, Howell applied for a position as a pharmacy technician-in-training at a Rite Aid pharmacy operated by Maxi and Rite Aid in Northford, Connecticut. The store required that he provide a urine sample for controlled-substance testing. Before the results came in, Howell was offered the position under condition that he passed the drug test. He accepted on November 26, 2018.

That same day, a doctor from the company that processed the urine test contacted him and told him that his urine tested positive for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of the active ingredients in marijuana. Howell explained about his medical conditions and offered to provide documentation showing that he was a palliative user registered in the state. 

Later that day, Maxi and Rite Aid withdrew their employment offer.

Howell then contacted the human resources manager for the Connecticut Region of the companies and explained the situation to her. He told her he was duly registered with the Department of Consumer Protection. However, she did not return further calls from him. 

When Howell received an official letter from the companies withdrawing the employment offer, he called the person who had signed the letter and explained the situation to her. She said that the companies do not recognize that kind of qualifying status, and also did not return any further calls from him. 

The complaint alleges that the companies’ refusal to hire Howell violates the Connecticut General Statutes. It is “a violation of the public policy against discriminating against persons for the lawful and palliative use of marijuana to alleviate symptoms of a debilitating medical condition…”

The class for this action is individuals who were denied employment at Rite Aid stores in Connecticut, and who thus lost wages and employment benefits and sustained emotional distress and upset because of their failure to be hired in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 21a-408p(b)(3).

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Civil Rights

Most Recent Case Event

No Rite Aid Job for Medical Marijuana User Connecticut Complaint

August 2, 2019

If marijuana use is permitted in some states for medical use, what happens when such a patient applies for a job that requires a drug test? The complaint for this class action alleges that Rite Aid of Connecticut, Inc. and Maxi Drug, Inc. violated Connecticut law when they refused to hire the plaintiff in this case based on the results of his drug test. 

rite_aid_palliative_marijuana_use_compl.pdf

Case Event History

No Rite Aid Job for Medical Marijuana User Connecticut Complaint

August 2, 2019

If marijuana use is permitted in some states for medical use, what happens when such a patient applies for a job that requires a drug test? The complaint for this class action alleges that Rite Aid of Connecticut, Inc. and Maxi Drug, Inc. violated Connecticut law when they refused to hire the plaintiff in this case based on the results of his drug test. 

rite_aid_palliative_marijuana_use_compl.pdf
Tags: Civil Rights, Discrimination in Employment for Medical Marijuana Users, Employment Discrimination