Birmingham Discusses Pending Case Over Jobless Benefits for Pot Users

21 August 2021 Detroit Free Press News

Partner John Birmingham was quoted in a Detroit Free Press article, “Ruling on pot could have big impact; Case to look at how use affects jobless eligibility,” about a pending case before Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Appeals Commission over whether marijuana use off the job should disqualify a fired employee from receiving unemployment benefits.

Birmingham said it’s very hard to prove that someone used cannabis at work, and a ruling by the commission saying that a positive marijuana test isn’t automatically considered misconduct could make it more difficult for employers to show that cannabis was used on the job and that it affected a fired user’s performance.

“This case would not specifically say that somebody is wrongfully terminated if they’re terminated for failing to pass a drug test and test positive for marijuana,” he said. “What it would simply mean is failing a drug test in and of itself wouldn’t disqualify you for benefits.”

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