Fired for Marijuana? You Should Still Get Unemployment in Michigan
Attorney General Dana Nessel says that employers cannot control your private life and you should not be ineligible for unemployment because of marijuana use.
What you do on your time is your business. That has long been the prevailing attitude of employees and now, Michigan's Attorney General has made it official that she is on your side. Dana Nessel filed an amicus brief before the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Commission on August 9 that argues a person fired for marijuana use outside the workplace is still eligible for unemployment benefits.
Three cases are before the commission now, dealing with whether an employee should be disqualified from collecting unemployment if they are fired solely for using marijuana during their personal time—meaning marijuana was not used on the job or on the employers’ premises, nor did it impair the employee during work hours.
The people spoke loud and clear when they voted in 2018 to legalize marijuana once and for all. Nobody over 21 can be penalized or denied any right or privilege solely for legally using marijuana, and employers cannot control their employees’ private lives by calling the legal use of marijuana outside of work hours ‘misconduct’.
-Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel
The brief argues that while employers still retain their right to hire and fire at will, the State cannot deprive an individual of unemployment benefits for simply engaging the legal activity of marijuana use.
A full copy of the brief is available online.
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