Braska v. Challenge Manufacturing Co.

307 Mich. App. 340 (2014)

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Braska v. Challenge Manufacturing Co.

Michigan Court of Appeals
307 Mich. App. 340 (2014)

Facts

Rick Braska (plaintiff) was an employee of Challenge Manufacturing Company (Challenge) (defendant) until he was fired for failing a drug test. Braska tested positive for marijuana. The Michigan Employment Security Act (the unemployment act) provided that testing positive for drugs resulted in an employee’s disqualification for unemployment benefits. However, the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (the medical-marijuana act) permitted a small class of persons to use marijuana medicinally. The medical-marijuana act did not establish a right to possess or use marijuana in every context. The medical-marijuana act provided immunity for a qualifying patient with a medical-marijuana card and prohibited arrest, prosecution, or subjection to any penalty for using marijuana medicinally. In addition, the medical-marijuana act provided that it superseded any other law that provided a penalty for the medicinal use of marijuana in accordance with the medical-marijuana act. Braska had a medical-marijuana card and used marijuana medicinally in accordance with the act. Braska did not use marijuana on company property and was not under the influence of marijuana while working. When Braska filed for unemployment benefits, he was denied. Two other employees in a similar situation who had both sued their employers experienced a denial as well. In each case, after determinations were made by the Unemployment Insurance Agency (the agency) and an administrative-law judge, the Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission (the commission) determined that the employee was disqualified for unemployment benefits, and on appeal, a circuit court reversed. In each case, the agency sought review by the Michigan Court of Appeals, which consolidated the three appeals.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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