Ohio employers can fire employees who use medical marijuana or refuse to hire them in the first place.
Medical marijuana is legal in Ohio, but it remains illegal at the federal level and Ohio employers are testing for it like they would any other illegal drug.
“Under Ohio law, employers don’t have to currently hire someone who uses medical marijuana and they don’t have to retain an employee that tests positive for medical marijuana,” said Michael Griffaton, an attorney at Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP.
Employees can’t sue their employers for taking action based on medical marijuana use, and employees fired under workplace drug testing or drug-free workplace policies are ineligible for unemployment benefits.
“There’s nothing that requires an employer to tolerate an employee using medical marijuana in the workplace. Nothing,” said Sharon DeLay, owner and president of the human-resources firm GO-HR. “At this point, an employer can terminate an employee for testing positive for medical marijuana even if that employee is using it for something like glaucoma or cancer treatment.”