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Judges' opinion on Coats v. DISH means employers may keep zero-tolerance policies Email

Judges issued their opinion today after hearing testimony last September 

Marijuana is legal in Colorado but not federallyOn Monday, June 15, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinions on Coats v. DISH, in which a Colorado man was terminated from his job after testing positive for marijuana use. While the employee was using legally obtained medical marijuana, he was fired under DISH's zero-tolerance drug policy.

A court case held that the termination was legal, as marijuana remains illegal federally. The decision was upheld by an appellate court.

The Supreme Court was asked to decide if the use of medical marijuana is 'lawful' under Colorado's 'lawful activities statute.' Because medical marijuana use is not illegal in Colorado, and Coats was using it with permission from a physician, his lawyers argued that it was therefore 'lawful' use. If the court decided that his use was indeed lawful, then his employer may not fire him for engaging in a lawful activity.

The case was complicated because it was uncertain whether an activity (marijuana use) could be considered lawful activity in a state while it was prohibited according to federal law.

The judges stated:

The supreme court holds that under the plain language of section 24-34-402.5, 14 C.R.S. (2014), Colorado’s “lawful activities statute,” the term “lawful” refers only to 15 those activities that are lawful under both state and federal law. Therefore, employees 16 who engage in an activity such as medical marijuana use that is permitted by state law 17 but unlawful under federal law are not protected by the statute. We therefore affirm 18 the court of appeals’ opinion.

To read the entire opinion, visit https://www.courts.state.co.us/userfiles/file/Court_Probation/Supreme_Court/Opinions/2013/13SC394.pdf

 
Tweet your legislators Email

 

TwitterTwitter has become a powerful tool for communications between legislators and their constituents. It allows citizens to communicate directly with their congressperson, city council, or other government officials about important and evolving issues. Grassroots efforts on Twitter can support advocacy efforts and affect change.

Interested in participating in advocacy from your computer or smartphone? It's as easy as opening your Twitter app.

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Thousands of unused H-2B visas are now available Email

On June 5, 2015, USCIS will reopen the congressionally mandated fiscal year (FY) 2015 cap and will accept Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, requesting new H-2B workers with an employment start date between April 1 and September 30, 2015.

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EPA proposes new label restrictions for pesticides Email

New proposal from Environmental Protection Agency

EPA has posted to the Federal Register a document entitled “Proposal to Mitigate Exposure to Bees from Acutely Toxic Pesticide Products, Notice of Availability.” There is will be a 31-day comment period, ending June 29, 2015 on this proposal for changes to pesticide labeling.

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Legislative alert regarding Clean Water Act Rule Email

BREAKING NEWS: Call for advocacy efforts

National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), of which ALCC is a member, issued the following legislative alert in response to the recently released Clean Water Act Rule:

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