Medical and legal recreational marijuana has thrown many employers for a loop. In Maine, the law recently became somewhat clearer when a court ruled that employers cannot discriminate against staff who use marijuana. In another court case, the contract vs. employee debate was also cleared up for GrubHub. Here are these stories and one more that you need to know this week:
Employees in the state of Maine who are 21 or older no longer have to worry about being disciplined or losing their job for using marijuana in their off time. A new law bars employers from discriminating against employees for using marijuana or marijuana by-products.
GrubHub recently won a case claiming that its drivers were employees. A judge ruled that the drivers are, under California law, independent contractors. The lawsuit was brought by a driver who was with the company for less than six months. The driver alleged the company violated California labor laws by not reimbursing expenses, paying him less than minimum wage, and not paying overtime. The is an important win for companies who rely on similar independent contractors, due to California’s high standard for establishing workers as independent contractors.
Additional time off after a protected leave of absence as a reasonable accommodation has been disagreed upon in the courts in recent years. However, a California court recently awarded $4.5 million to an employee for failure to grant additional leave under state law. In this particular case, the employee’s request was never considered by the employer, which was seen as the jury as a sign of “malice, oppression or fraud.” This is an issue employers should consider when granting leave under state or federal law.