Woman Files Lawsuit Claiming She Was Denied Employment For Using Medical Marijuana

A woman has filed a lawsuit after she says she was denied employment for using medical marijuana. She has epilepsy and chronic pain and uses infused oil three times a week; CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reports.

Video Transcript

- A woman has filed a lawsuit after, she says, she was denied a job for using medical marijuana. She has epilepsy, and chronic pain, and uses infused oil three times a week. CBS 2's Jennifer McLogan is live in Westbury with the legal fallout on this one. Jennifer?

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: Dana, good evening. That Nassau County woman tells us that she was on the brink of being hired here, until she disclosed her medical marijuana registry identification card issued to her by the New York State Department of Health.

FALITA DOBBINS: I want the job still. I still want to work. If Home Depot asks me right now to work for them, I will work for them.

- Falita Dobbins, mother of five, desperate for a job. But now, she's suing Home Depot for denying her that chance. She claims, two weeks ago, she was with a supervisor at the Home Depot in Westbury, filling out final paperwork to begin as a sales associate.

FALITA DOBBINS: I said, I got that energy and that spunk, so I'm ready to work. So she said, OK. So then she said, well, I'm going to let you know. We take a drug test.

- Falita said, full disclosure.

FALITA DOBBINS: I just passed her my medical marijuana ID. So when she took it, she did just like this. She said, [GASP]. And she said, hold on for a second. It was like she made the biggest mistake in her life when I signed the papers.

- The supervisor took the marijuana card and left to check with the manager. Falita claims, she got worried and turned on her cell phone when the supervisor returned. We looked and listen to the recording. "We are not able to hire you. With a medical marijuana? Right, we do drug testing. But you do know this is medicine. I wanted to make sure we didn't change our policy. Sorry, through company practices, our store co-manager says, it's unacceptable."

KENNETH MOLLINS: It's slam dunk improper under the Compassionate Care Act. It's absolutely wrong. It's absolutely discrimination, and a national company, like Home Depot, should not discriminate based on medical usage.

- He says, under New York State Human Rights Law, one cannot be denied a job or fired based on medical marijuana usage, unless one is high on the job and not functioning, or there are fewer than four employees in the company. Falita was prescribed marijuana oil four years ago and uses it several times a week for disability, epilepsy, and chronic pain instead of opioids.

FALITA DOBBINS: Opiates is given by doctor. My medical marijuana oil was given by doctor, a script.

- The lawsuit could run over $1 million for lost wages and punitive damages. Home Depot says, it will comment once it receives the lawsuit and can review it. Meantime, legalization of recreational marijuana is, at least, a year away. We're live tonight. Westbury, Long Island, Jennifer McLogan, CBS 2 News. Dana, back to you.

- Jennifer, thank you.