Joseph Casias…the Michigan father of two sued Walmart this week for firing him after he tested positive for marijuana — which he was using to alleviate pain from a brain tumor and sinus cancer…
According to the complaint, Casias tested positive for marijuana in a drug test administered after he injured his knee at work, under a Walmart policy that requires employees injured on the job to take the test.
Casias, who won an associate of the year award at the store in 2008, has been using marijuana on his oncologist’s advice after Michigan voters passed a law approving the drug’s medical use in 2008.
“Joseph is an example of a patient for whom marijuana has had a life-changing positive effect,” the complaint states.
A Walmart spokesman said he sympathized with Casias, but defended the dismissal.
“Like other companies, we have to consider the overall safety of our customers and our associates, including Mr. Casias, when making a difficult decision like this,” said Greg Rossiter.
The American Civil Liberties Union also has filed a lawsuit against the nation’s largest retailer.
“No patient should be forced to choose between adequate pain relief and gainful employment,” Scott Michelman, a staff attorney with the ACLU Drug Law Reform Project told CNN. “And no employer should be allowed to intrude upon private medical choices made by employees in consultation with their doctors.”
Changes in Walmart management – and management style – in the past few years have brought them as far as the 20th Century. Stiff-necked rules in place to satisfy the American Cult of Litigation and lawyerdom should be dumped onto the rubbish heap of bourgeois business practices.
Times change. Lifestyles change. Kindness and understanding still look to be in short supply at the world’s biggest retailer.