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PA Medical Marijuana Act Requires “But For” Causation to Succeed on Discrimination Claim, Federal Judge Says

October 26, 2021

As we shared in past blog posts, the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act (“MMA”) contains an anti-discrimination provision, that prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee “solely on the basis of such employee’s status as an individual who is certified to use medical marijuana.”  Earlier this year, we also shared that the Superior Court confirmed that this provision created a cause of action, whereby an employee can sue an employer for discrimination in violation of the MMA.  However, a big question remained – what would an employee have to prove to demonstrate such a violation?  On October 19th, a Federal Judge answered that question.  An employee must demonstrate that but for his status as a certified medical marijuana cardholder he would not have suffered an adverse employment action.  Reynolds v. Willert Mfg. Co., Inc., 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200800 (E.D. Pa. October 19, 2021).

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Denise E. Elliott