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Dish Discriminates Against Disabled Employee over use of medical marijuana

Discussion in 'The OT' started by SayWhat?, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. May 1, 2013 #21 of 189
    SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    I disagree. It was the disability and the choice not to submit to BigMedCo that led to alternative medicine. If you eat certain foods, you can test positive for opiates. It doesn't affect your job performance though.

    Testing positive for THC does not mean you are under the influence at any specific time.
     
  2. May 1, 2013 #22 of 189
    LtMunst

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    Regardless of state legalization...marijuana is Still illegal under Federal Law. The Americans with Disabilities Act would certainly not protect this.
     
  3. May 1, 2013 #23 of 189
    tsmacro

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    I don't think there's any debate whether Dish had the right to fire the employee, they obviously did after all being a "right to work" state they can fire anyone for any reason or none at all really. The real debate was it the right and/or smart thing to do?
     
  4. May 1, 2013 #24 of 189
    Paul Secic

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  5. May 1, 2013 #25 of 189
    Paul Secic

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    It's ilegal to smoke Weed at work period.
     
  6. May 1, 2013 #26 of 189
    ehilbert1

    ehilbert1 Godfather

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    He never smoked weed at work!

    I want to applaud the guy for even being able to work! I'm a parapelegic and work full time but it's damn hard to do at times. There are so many things I have to do in the morning just to be able to go to work. So what this guy did as a quad is remarkable. The poor guy needed to smoke it. Seriously guys Google bowel programs for para and quards. See what all has to be done for us to even be able to work.

    It's a shame they had to let him go. I hope he can catch on somewhere.
     
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  7. May 1, 2013 #27 of 189
    sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    You said what I was thinking. I'll bet a company will get this guy. I'm disabled (not paralyzed - Muscular Dystrophy), and I can't work...I tried. I applaud all disabled workers not just collecting a government check like myself.
     
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  8. May 1, 2013 #28 of 189
    ehilbert1

    ehilbert1 Godfather

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    It's not your fault and I don't look down on anyone that is disabled and can't work. I know there are those that can and won't. I'm a Vet that was injured in Iraq. I could have just not worked but I didn't want that. So now I work with law enforcment. It's a hard thing to do but I get by.

    I do feel bad for the guy they let go. I really hope he gets another job.
     
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  9. May 1, 2013 #29 of 189
    SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    I really don't see how anyone can defend Dish on this. They certainly have discretion not to be bullies.
     
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  10. May 1, 2013 #30 of 189
    dpeters11

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    Right. In Ohio, people have been fired because they have been found to be a smoker. It's not a protected status, so there are no real rights. I think we were the first state to not allow smoking in casinos, so definitely not a smoker friendly state.
     
  11. May 1, 2013 #31 of 189
    Stewart Vernon

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    As long as Dish fires anyone they find has been illegally taking a drug, then their position is defensible. IF they allowed a non-disabled person to get away with it, then I could jump on the bandwagon and say they discriminated against this guy... but unless a story like that surfaces... all we know for sure is that if you fail a drug test, Dish will let you go.

    I'm not even arguing that I agree marijuana should be illegal. I don't, never have, and never will take any of the recreational drugs... but I think our "war on drugs" has gotten out of hand... but that said, until the drug laws are overturned, if you break one you take the risks and consequences if you get caught... and this guy got caught.

    IF he was given a break because of his disability to illegally use a drug, then that would be as bad as if he was discriminated against... Discrimination, whether it be favorable or unfavorable, doesn't do him any favors.
     
  12. May 1, 2013 #32 of 189
    sigma1914

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    What if the person wasn't disabled and was using medical marijuana?
     
  13. May 1, 2013 #33 of 189
    phrelin

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    The fact is that many first time DUI convictions do not result in jail time, but in California they could. A judge gets paid to make judgement calls.

    Grownups are supposed to make judgement calls IMHO. But I realize that insurance companies and other outside influences that prefer to ignore the finer points of "justice" come into play even at Dish.

    We are at a point in time where compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender (also known as "mercy") is considered a weakness or flaw. Hence the advocacy for "Zero Tolerance." Based on what I see the strictest Sharia Law ought to be much more popular in this country than it is.

    I don't like it, but my opinion is free and worth every penny. [​IMG]
     
  14. May 1, 2013 #34 of 189
    Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    But we aren't really talking about the law here... we're talking about a company hiring or firing.

    In gun threads I have pointed out that it is legal to own guns in this country... and I support the 2nd amendment... BUT you cannot bring a gun into my house or my car. I do not give you that permission. You could assert your 2nd amendment rights all you want, but only as long as you don't want to be in my home or car.

    So for drugs... Dish has a drug policy... this guy violated it... they can fire him. On top of that he apparently was using them illegally... so he really doesn't have a defensible position.

    Companies that have drug policies usually test you as part of the interview/hiring process... and give you documentation that says what their policy is and usually require you to sign something that says you read and understand their company policies. I'm not saying I don't feel a bit for the guy... but he is in a non-winnable situation.
     
  15. May 2, 2013 #35 of 189
    phrelin

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    That's the part I don't like. I'm not criticizing Dish as their policy is the norm. I'm critical that Zero Tolerance has become the norm.
     
  16. May 2, 2013 #36 of 189
    sregener

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    In a moral society (where moral behavior is the norm and immoral behavior is a rare exception), such "judgement calls" are easier than in an immoral one. The moment an exception is made to the rule, there are now people who will wedge their way through it or scream that it is unfair to the rooftops. If the IRS says to one person, "We understand you weren't the best math student, have some memory issues and didn't pay us as much as you really owe. Just pay us back when you get the money," you can bet that a million others will be including copies of their math grades with their tax returns.

    That's not to say that I don't agree with you that sometimes, our "zero tolerance" policies lead to actions that are, at best, insane.
     
  17. May 2, 2013 #37 of 189
    tampa8

    tampa8 Godfather/Supporter

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    I was on my smartphone when I first posted so edited down what I typed.

    In the seminar for employers we went over this topic. (Not specifically the Dish story) If marijuana is legal in your state, and the employer allows it because it is legal and for medical reasons, insurance companies very well may drop that employer. Could Dish have put that person on suspension? Here's the answer. They could, but if it is for medical reasons they may actually be forced to fire them, by stating in the dismissal the employee can no longer perform their job if they must take marijuana. If someone has a back injury, and it will not get any better, and the job depends on heavy lifting etc, same scenario. The mistake some are making is putting marijuana use in some kind of a different category. Oddly, if it was an addiction, the employer has more latitude. But once the employee says he is taking a drug for medical reasons with no known end point to stop it's use, the employer virtually must fire the employee. There are people fired every day for using legally prescribed drugs for honest medical conditions, because the employer feels that the employee can no longer do the job, including in the Fire Service.
    If I had to boil it down, (as the instructor did) there is a distinction between being addicted and wanting to get help to stop taking the drug, or saying you must take the drug for medical reasons. The second should be a red flag to part ways, the first takes more thought.
     
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  18. May 2, 2013 #38 of 189
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    If the policies are clear, it is both the right and smart thing to do. Changing the policies should necessarily require a whole lot more consideration than this particular instance and no applicable laws should be dismissed.

    To date, most of the legalization measures have major shortcomings and lack a significant body of case law so it is probably too soon to claim protection from one law that is in clear violation of another.
     
  19. May 2, 2013 #39 of 189
    DoyleS

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    I put the fault on the employee.
    Dish has a clear drug policy that the employee would have been aware of when he was hired.
    The employee felt that the latest changes in Colorado law trumped the company policy.
    Without checking with his supervisor or HR to see if there would be a problem, he proceeded to use the Marijuana for his medical needs.
    Depending on Metabolism and other factors, the MJ indicators can stay in the system from as low as about 3 days for some people and even 30 days for others.
    Companies can be liable for the actions of their employees and as a result they have written company rules.
    We may feel bad for this employee, but he was not discriminated against. What also isn't clear from the information given was the circumstances under which he was tested. Did someone suggest that he was using MJ? Did he volunteer the information? Was it a random drug test?
     
  20. May 3, 2013 #40 of 189
    acostapimps

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    All I got to say in this matter is that alcohol and cigarette smoking can kill you more than marijuana smoking, Scientific fact
     
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