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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 15, 2013 #81 of 189
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Or one could be fired for not getting a flu shot. Or violating hygiene standards. There are plenty of ways of being a non-compliant employee.
     
  2. May 16, 2013 #82 of 189
    djlong

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    If someone fired me because I had a bottle of wine in my shopping cart, I'd be on the phone with my lawyer in an instant. Once I know my rights (probably few, if any), I would be all over ever social media outlet and have made phone calls to news stations (they're always looking for human interest stories). This assumes that I have the paperwork, in the form of good performance reviews, to prove that I was a productive employee.

    My basic line would be something like "Prove it was for me - I was buying a gift for my cousin's birthday".

    Of course, this would teach companies to simply fire for no reason at all - since stating stupid reasons for termination would impact a company's PR and they'd be more inclined to say "This is an employ-at-will state". And that, in turn, might have some effects over the long term.

    Years ago I was fired for a couple of reasons (company reorganization being the biggest). One thing that my boss *didn't* say was that she fired me (as opposed to another person) for religious reasons (I used my wife's car to commute and it had a license plate: "WYCCAN"). Eventually the whispers got back to my agent and he told me. But the company never put that on paper because of what a religious discrimination suit would do.

    In the end, I'm glad they let me go - gave me better opportunities and I sincerely laugh at the fact that my arch-Catholic supervisor picked me because of my (now ex-) *wife's* religion (not mine).
     
  3. May 16, 2013 #83 of 189
    tsmacro

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    You might think you'd to all that but if you lived around here you probably wouldn't bother. I mean sure you could but ultimately you'd probably find out that not enough people care to make it newsworthy and you'd probably get a shrug of the shoulders and a knowing look from anyone you told. The place I'm talking about is a pretty good sized religious college so lots of good paying jobs, so no one wants to rock the boat as there isn't a whole lot of those kind of jobs around here. Everyone knows the rule and everyone knows if you're caught you're fired and yes on top that a "right to work" state. So you could make all the noise you want but you'd probably just end up hearing your own voice echoing back at you for all your effort.
    Now I'm not saying that no one who works there never drinks, of course they do, they just can't be doing it in public or in front of anyone else that works there in case that other person is one of those who'd turn you in. Kind of funny thing is i know that some people who work there will go to local wineries because there's no other reason to be there other than for wine and if you run into a co-worker there you know you're safe after all they couldn't implicate you without getting themselves in trouble. I suppose you might run the risk of someone driving by and seeing you walking to your car with a bottle of wine, but since the closest wineries are at least half an hour a way your chances aren't real good.
     
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  4. May 16, 2013 #84 of 189
    Rich

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    In a union environment, you cannot just fire someone for things that have been addressed in the collective bargaining of the union's contract. We tried that so many times and each time an arbitrator ruled against us and the employee was reinstated. In our case, the drug policy was part of the collective bargaining. We fired union workers for other things and they usually got reinstated.

    If someone had shown up with alcohol on his breath and a person in management caught it, the person would have to have taken the breathalyzer test. Usually, they tested OK, even tho they stunk. Hangover's do come with alcoholic odors at times. I never heard of anyone failing a test for being drunk, but privacy issues prevented us from hearing all the results.

    Rich
     
  5. May 16, 2013 #85 of 189
    Rich

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    That's a bit over the top. Where do you live?

    Rich
     
  6. May 16, 2013 #86 of 189
    tsmacro

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    Yes it is but people accept it because they like the jobs it brings to the area. I live in what most people would consider a "rural" county in Indiana, although it is home to a small city and a few towns, it's not all just farms.
     
  7. May 16, 2013 #87 of 189
    Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

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    READ WHOLE ARTICLE HERE
     
  8. May 16, 2013 #88 of 189
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Thanks Drew for the article. Medical use of marijuana is growing in popularity ... I wish it could be done without the recreational use people taking the spotlight. The stigma and fight against marijuana would not be so heavy if it were not for the recreational use crowd.
     
  9. May 17, 2013 #89 of 189
    Rich

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    Each time I was tested, I had to list every prescription drug, every supplement that I took. Been almost 20 years since I liberated myself from the drudgery of working, but I doubt that has changed. If he had listed medical marijuana as a prescribed medicine, why didn't they terminate him on the spot? If they had written proof before the test, why even bother with a test? Doesn't matter all that much when you ingest the stuff, It will still show up within a month of use on a drug test.

    Rich
     
  10. May 17, 2013 #90 of 189
    Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Just read in the NY Daily News that they're finding pot helps hold off Diabetes. Also has a tendency to cause users to have a more slender waist, according to another article in that same paper.

    Remember when Nixon commissioned his Marijuana Study while he was in office? I read that whole thing and the conclusion was that the worst thing it did was cause people to be prosecuted for possession or sale of it. I'm still astounded that the Study was published.

    Now Vermont is trying to decriminalize possession of up to an ounce of pot. Good for them!

    Rich
     
  11. May 17, 2013 #91 of 189
    dpeters11

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    It's 3 ounces in Ohio. $150 fine but no criminal record or jail.
     
  12. May 23, 2013 #92 of 189
    Rich

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    Sensible folks in Ohigho!

    Rich
     
  13. Sep 30, 2014 #93 of 189
    Herdfan

    Herdfan Well-Known Member

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  14. Sep 30, 2014 #94 of 189
    Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

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    If your pot use put you or anybody in harms way at work, then you no longer qualify for the job.

    That's why there are light duty position.
     
  15. Oct 1, 2014 #95 of 189
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I'm not sure what harm DISH would fear from the complainant. But I would not say that "putting others in harm's way" was the only legitimate standard.

    Businesses set standards for their employees that go beyond legal vs illegal activities. The concept of what you do outside of work should not matter as long as you don't do that objectionable activity at work is not a guarantee that one can do whatever they want outside of work.

    Imagine a dress code that includes what one smells like. A company may require that their employees bathe, wear clean clothes and not smell objectionable to others. Yet those are activities done outside of work. It is legal to stink. There is no law against dirty clothes and smelliness ... yet there are companies everywhere in America that enforce policies that require good hygiene.

    Why should a company be able to terminate an employee for violating hygiene rules but have other off work objectionable activities protected? It could be argued that it is because those violations affect others but there are plenty of off work activities that affect others when you come to work.

    Assuming there is no impairment when the employee arrived at work (similar to a person who legally gets drunk every night but arrives to work sober with no hangover or sleep deprivation) should a company be prohibited from setting any off work standards for their employees?

    How about a teacher who makes extra money as a stripper or (where legal) a prostitute? They are not stripping or prostituting in the classroom but there would be strong objection from their employer and the public.

    My employer does not want me to have any second job because they are concerned with how it may affect my loyalty to them (and my flexibility to meet their needs). I could be terminated for getting a second job. It is just one more work rule that I accept, along with not using marijuana, wearing clean clothes and getting enough rest to do my job.
     
  16. Oct 1, 2014 #96 of 189
    Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Yep... several teachers have been ostracized and asked/forced to leave the classroom when it has been found out they moonlighted at a strip club OR did it in the past not even currently... and no alleged impropriety or illegal activity involved either. I don't know that it is fair, but as they say life isn't fair.

    On the drug front... lots of legal and prescription even drugs that can impair work performance... and employers can make reasonable requests/rules about how you use such things. They probably can't require you to not drink at home, but if you smell of alcohol, show up drunk, or even with a hangover, you might be penalized for that outside-work activity.

    Consider the outrage recently at the NFL for not immediately kicking guys out of the league who have allegedly (or some on film or already prosecuted in the courts) abused their wives/girlfriends... these incidents of abuse didn't take place while at work or while the person was wearing NFL gear... but all the same, people expect them to be disciplined by their employer.

    But somehow... marijuana is not something an employer should have a policy about?
     
  17. Oct 1, 2014 #97 of 189
    Herdfan

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    I was late to this party. I saw the article and came here and looked for a relevant thread, and found one.

    Back in the 90's during my former career I was tasked with setting up a DOT approved drug testing program for pipeline operators. As part of the program there was a Medical Officer. His job was to initially review any positive test and make a determination as to whether or not a violation had occurred. If he determined a violation had occurred, it was at this point referred back to me to be handled. If he determined no violation had occurred, I never knew about it. In theory. The first positive test I found out about was for a guy who was off on Worker's Comp for a back issue. He called me after the Dr. had called him to inform him of his positive test and to set up a meeting. He never should have called me and I told him I can't talk to him about it. Turns out he was on narcotic pain meds that showed up in his drug screen. He was tested even though he was out on Comp. The Dr. determined he had a valid scrip for the pain meds and that since he was not currently working, no positive test would be reported to the company.

    This is how DISH should have handled it in my opinion. Positive test goes to independent Dr. who determines whether or not the scrip or recommendation is valid. And if the patient has a valid medical reason for using marijuana, then no violation is reported to the company. That way the company can still have its policies and they are unaware of violations such as these.
     
  18. Oct 1, 2014 #98 of 189
    Rich

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    When you think about it, could the Dish CSRs be at about the same level as the frontline D* CSRs? And if they are, what would a little pot do that would make them worse? Dish has a drug policy that supersedes a state law? They must be an interesting company.

    Rich
     
  19. Oct 2, 2014 #99 of 189
    4HiMarks

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    I once decided NOT to apply for a position at a Baptist college when I saw that everyone had to sign a pledge not to drink, smoke, dance, or go to the movies under penalty of termination. So there is no reason why an employer can't prohibit all sorts of legal behavior.
     
  20. Oct 2, 2014 #100 of 189
    Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Very interesting case. The fact that the chap is handicapped adds another element that may obscure the underlying issues a bit.
     

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