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Fourth Department – Medical marijuana: Moran-Ruiz v. Ontario County

By: Daily Record Staff//September 12, 2023

Fourth Department – Medical marijuana: Moran-Ruiz v. Ontario County

By: Daily Record Staff//September 12, 2023

New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department

Medical marijuana

Collective bargaining agreement – Drug and alcohol policy

Moran-Ruiz v. Ontario County

CA 22-01744

Appealed from Supreme Court, Ontario County

Background: The petitioner was employed by the respondent as a correction officer. The petitioner’s doctor prescribed medical marijuana unbeknownst to the respondents. When the petitioner went on disability leave from work, the respondents received the petitioner’s medical records and learned about her marijuana use. She was told that she either use annual leave or take unpaid time until she had a verified negative drug test and be evaluated by a substance abuse professional. The petitioner then commenced an action seeking money damages for having been placed in a no pay status and a judgement seeking to annul the respondents’ determination to place her on unpaid leave due to her prescribed use of medical marijuana. She appeals from the dismissal of her complaint.

Ruling: The Appellate Division affirmed. The court held that the collective bargaining agreement expressly states that the drug policy was a condition of employment and she provides no law that would forbid such a term in a collective bargaining agreement. The court also held that it is undisputed that the petitioner did not avail herself of the CBA’s grievance procedure concerning the initial determination.

Daniel P. Debolt, of Trevett Cristo, for the petitioner-plaintiff-appellant; Joseph S. Nacca, county attorney, for the respondents-defendants-respondents.

 Oral argument video

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