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Friday, September 04, 2015

Testing positive for marijuana


Testing positive for marijuana
OATH Index No. 1686/15
OATH Index No. 1685/15

In OATH 1686/15 the employee attributed his violation of his employer’s substance abuse policy to the employee’s difficulties with his former spouse.  

Following an accident involving a sanitation worker's truck and a civilian car, which resulted in injuries to passengers in both vehicles, the employee submitted to drug and alcohol testing in accordance with the department's substance abuse policy. At the OATH hearing the employee admitted to testing positive for marijuana and testified on own his behalf in mitigation of the employer's proposed penalty.

Although the employee attributed his violation of the policy to difficulties with his former wife, OATH Administrative Law Judge Ingrid M. Addison was not persuaded that he was not a risk to relapse. Judge Addison recommended that the employee be dismissed from his position, noting that the employee had violated the substance abuse policy three times, and had previously received a 44-day suspension for similar conduct.

In contrast, in OATH 1685/15 the employee’s claim that he had innocently ingested marijuana” as his defense after testing positive for marijuana was credited by the Administrative Law Judge.

In this case, the employee charged with testing positive for marijuana raised the defense of "innocent ingestion" of the drug. OATH Administrative Law Judge Kevin A. Casey recommended dismissal of the charge.

The worker testified that he attended a party, where he got into an argument with an acquaintance. As a “joke,” the acquaintance later gave the employee a marijuana-laced brownie, without telling him that it contained marijuana. The employee testified that he then ate the brownie not knowing that it contained marijuana. Judge Casey found that the acquaintance’s credible testimony corroborated the employee's version of events, particularly because the acquaintance had no motive to lie and she testified to participating in illegal activities against her own interests.

Finding that the employee did not knowingly ingest marijuana, ALJ Casey recommended that the charges be dismissed. 

The 1686/15 decision is posted on the Internet at:

The OATH Index No. 1685/15 decision is posted on the Internet at:
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