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Sean Mack Quoted in HRDive Article Regarding Employment Drug Testing

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HRDive
2.16.24

Sean Mack, Partner and Co-Chair of the Cannabis & Hemp Law and Litigation practices at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C., was quoted in a HRDive article titled, “‘Honest Belief’ Defense Goes Up in Smoke in Employee Hemp Case.” The article discusses a recent federal appeals court ruling rejecting Airgas USA LLC’s claim that it had an “honest belief” that an employee used marijuana because it relied on information from a third-party drug screening company. After his drug test came back positive, the employee (who was using a legal hemp product to treat cancer pain), asked for a retest and told the company that the false positive was likely caused by his use of legal hemp. Prior to firing the employee, the employer never told the drug testing company that the employee was using hemp and never asked whether the hemp use could cause the positive result.

The decision “really underscores for employers that they need to listen to their employees,” said Sean Mack.

By ignoring the employee’s side of the story and carrying out its decision without first investigating the claim, the company remains on the hook to defend itself against the disability discrimination claim without having the honest belief defense available to it, Mack suggested. 

To read the full HRDive article, click here.

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