Connecticut Man Fired for Smoking Marijuana Wins Court Case

Man Fired for Smoking Marijuana Wins Court Case

George Hodan / Public Domain /

On Aug. 18, 2016, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled that a man who was fired for smoking marijuana on the job should be able to return to his job.

According to Reuters, the ruling stemmed from a 2012 incident where Gregory Linhoff, a state employee working for the University of Connecticut Health Center, was found smoking marijuana in a state-owned van on the university grounds.

Originally fired from his position, the employee was able to overturn the termination in arbitration and was instead punished with a six month suspension and one year of random drug testing.

A lower court in Connecticut, however, reversed the arbitration ruling in 2014 on the argument that a suspension would send the wrong message to others. But in the recent 7-0 decision, Chief Justice Chase Rogers argued that lesser actions can be taken when public safety is not an issue.

“By the arbitrator’s estimation, the grievant’s personal qualities and overall record indicate that he is a good candidate for a second chance,” Rogers wrote. “Moreover, the discipline the arbitrator imposed was appropriately severe … .”

With a good work record and no disciplinary actions, Linhoff plans to seek reinstatement with his former employer.

William Sumner, a freelance writer and marijuana journalist, was a staff writer for MJINews from May 2014 through February 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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