Ruling Forces County to Give Employee Fired for Cannabis his Job Back, Pay $21,000 in Back Pay

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Ruling Forces County to Give Employee Fired for Cannabis his Job Back, Pay $21,000 in Back Pay

Michael Hirsch, a 60-year-old prostate cancer survivor who has spent years working as a programmer and systems analyst with Lane County, Oregon, was fired in December after two human resource employees reported that they smelt cannabis on him, and he subsequently failed a drug test.

Now, Arbitrator Jeffrey Jacobs has ruled that the country must give Hirsch his job back. Not only that, they must pay Hirsch $21,550 in back pay for the nearly half a year of work he missed.

Jacobs ruled that the county’s drug-free workplace policy – the policy used as justification to fire Hirsch – doesn’t apply to him because it contains an exception stating that if a substance is taken under the supervision of a licensed health care professional and “does not present a safety hazard or otherwise adversely impact an employee’s performance”, it’s allowed.

Jacobs noted that Hirsch received “a number of very positive messages and reviews” from supervisors in the time he’s worked there, and he received no formal complaints during his employment.

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Jacobs ruled that Hirsch’s job be reinstated immediately.


  • Joshua j Boll
    June 23, 2016

    If this very situation had been infected at my last job I would never had been laid off, unemployed and I would have been completely content working, however in the part year I have been struggling and even contemplated suicide things need to change for the better like this.

  • herbwarrior420
    June 24, 2016

    finally some justice for a legal medical cannabis patient. I hope Mr. Coates who direct tv fired for cannabis legal medical para-pelgic after he was promoted to supervisor. Take em to court this will set a presidence.

  • Anonymous
    June 24, 2016

    Now supreme Court must back this nationwide

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