Monthly Archives: August 2017

Massachusetts Highest Court Finds that Employers Must Accommodate Medical Marijuana

On July 17, 2017, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued its long awaited decision in Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing, No. SJC-12226 (2017).  The Barbuto decision is significant because it is the first Massachusetts case to interpret the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Act as it relates to employment.  The Barbuto decision differs from all other courts that have considered the issue, and held that an employer has a duty to accommodate medical marijuana use under the state disability law.  The Court also held, however, that the Medical Marijuana Act itself does not provide a private cause of action and that an employee alleging handicap discrimination may not pursue a wrongful termination public policy claim.

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