Marijuana Is Central Focus Of UCLA Contract Dispute

On behalf of The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai, A Professional Corporation posted in Contract Disputes on Friday, March 2, 2018.

Many California business owners have taken advantage of recently enacted laws that allow them to use marijuana in private or specially licensed business settings. Such laws were enacted at the state level, however, and conflict with existing federal laws that label any and all use of the drug illegal. This has prompted a contract dispute involving UCLA Health employees.

The contract dispute has arisen regarding terminology in an agreement workers are asked to sign when hired. The agreement states workers may be subjected to drug testing, and that specific tests are meant to determine if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol on the job. It's a complicated situation because pot is legal in California. Chemical tests, however, often produce positive results even if usage of the drug was several days prior to testing.

Employees say the language of the contract places their jobs at risk because, technically, they can legally use pot in this state when they are not at work, but the contract states that a positive drug test result is meant to assume an employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol on the job. UCLA Heath officials say they have aligned their contracts to reflect federal, not state, laws. Many who support UCLA Health workers say the company needs to adopt policies in line with California law, which allows workers to use marijuana at certain times, and should not place them at risk for losing their jobs.

Another problem issue in this particular dispute is that UCLA Health policy also states that the company's workplace is a drug-free zone, meaning, anyone found in possession of drugs, including pot, would be in violation of the policy. Workers may seek to rely upon the fact that possession of this particular drug is legal in this state. An experienced business and commercial law attorney would be a great asset to anyone trying to overcome complicated legal obstacles like those in this case.

Posted in Contract Disputes

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