Michigan Attorney General Files Brief Supporting Employees Fired for Cannabis Use

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Monday filed an amicus brief with the state Unemployment Insurance Appeals Commission arguing that employees fired solely for their off-the-clock cannabis use should still qualify for unemployment benefits.

Full story after the jump.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Monday filed an amicus brief with the state Unemployment Insurance Appeals Commission (UIAC) arguing that employees fired solely for their off-the-clock cannabis use should still qualify for unemployment benefits.

The brief focuses on three cases before the UIAC and says the commission’s ruling will “directly impact many law-abiding Michigan workers who may be terminated for the use of marijuana.”

“The People reserved for themselves the personal freedom to consume and cultivate marijuana, and the State cannot deprive an individual of unemployment benefits for simply engaging in this legal activity. Employers still generally retain their ability to hire and fire at will, but Michigan employees need not question whether their legal, off-duty conduct will leave them without unemployment benefits should an employer exercise that ability. Arguments to the contrary hinge on outmoded understandings of marijuana that the People of Michigan have rejected, once and for all.”Nessel in the amicus brief

“Nobody over 21 can be penalized or denied any right or privilege solely for legally using marijuana, and employers cannot control their employees’ private lives by calling the legal use of marijuana outside of work hours ‘misconduct,’” Nessel added in a press release

In none of the three cases were the employees fired for being impaired on the clock or consuming cannabis on the property of their employer.

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