In a significant determination that acknowledged a non-public proper of motion for employment discrimination below the AMMA, Arizona U.S. District Choose James A. Teilborg mentioned final week that Walmart was not justified in firing the employee primarily based on the corporate’s concept that marijuana metabolites in her urine meant she would need to have been impaired at work.
Whitmire’s lawyer Joshua Carden, who runs a Scottsdale-based mostly regulation agency, mentioned Teilborg’s resolution is “the primary of its form in Arizona.” Earlier than she was fired, Carol Whitmire had labored at Walmart shops in Show Low and Taylor for about eight years.
On Might 21, 2016, whereas working as a customer support supervisor on the Taylor Walmart, a bag of ice fell on Whitmire’s wrist whereas she was leveling the baggage, based on the lawsuit. The harm led to an urgent care go to and a drug check, under Walmart coverage. Whitmire’s urine examined optimistic for marijuana metabolites.
A medical-marijuana cardholder for roughly the final five years, Whitmire smokes marijuana earlier than the mattress to deal with her shoulder ache and arthritis, and as a sleep assist, following courtroom information. She says she by no means introduced marijuana to work or reported to the job impaired.
After the wrist harm, Whitmire knowledgeable the Walmart human assets division and the urgent care clinic that she holds a medical-marijuana card. She continued working till July 4, when she was suspended on account of the urine pattern. Her supervisor fired Whitmire on July 22 due to the practical results of the drug check, the grievance says.
In March 2017, Whitmire filed a discrimination cost with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the public benefits division of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. Three months later, she sued Walmart in the federal courtroom in Phoenix, alleging wrongful close and judgment in violation of the AMMA, the Arizona Civil Rights Act, and Arizona employee’s compensation legislation.
In his resolution final week, first reported by Law360, Teilborg granted partial abstract judgment to Whitmire for her declare of discrimination beneath the AMMA. The choose, nevertheless, denied Whitmire’s claims alleging discrimination beneath the Arizona Civil Rights Act and retaliatory termination underneath Arizona employment safety and employee’s compensation legal guidelines. The court docket will decide relating to damages or Whitmire’s potential reinstatement in May, her lawyer mentioned.