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Original Source: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/03/02/BALI1I2HEN.DTL&tsp=1

 

(03-02) 16:06 PST SAN FRANCISCO -- An employer can refuse to hire someone who has ever tested positive for marijuana or other drugs, even if the applicant is now clean and sober, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.

 

In a 2-1 decision, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said the "one-strike" rule of the Pacific Maritime Association, which controls hiring in the West Coast longshore industry, doesn't discriminate against rehabilitated addicts in violation of disability laws.

 

The rule "imposes a harsh penalty on applicants who test positive," and may seem unreasonable because many drug and alcohol users recover, the court said. But it said the maritime association had adopted the rule for safety purposes and did not single out former addicts.

 

A lawyer for a man who lost a chance for a longshore job because he had tested positive for marijuana seven years earlier said she knows of no other employer, including law enforcement and the armed services, that permanently bars applicants because of a single positive drug test.

 

"This is a very draconian view that impacts potentially thousands of people," said the attorney, Andrea Cook. She said it also contradicts "public policy that says we want to encourage people to get better."

 

The maritime association's lawyer was unavailable for comment.

 

Cook's client, Santiago Lopez, was turned down for a longshore job at the Long Beach port in 1997 after he failed a drug test. He underwent treatment and applied again in 2004, but the association refused to consider him because of the earlier test.

 

His lawsuit relied on federal and state laws that protect rehabilitated addicts from discrimination. But the appeals court, upholding a federal judge's dismissal of the suit, said the association doesn't bar all recovered addicts, only those who were still using drugs when they first applied for a job.

 

The association adopted the one-strike rule, without objection from the longshore workers' union, because of accidents and injuries that employers partly blamed on "a culture that accepted the use of drugs and alcohol in the workplace," Judge Susan Graber wrote in the appeals court's majority opinion.

 

Lopez could not show that the rule had a disproportionate effect on recovered addicts, Graber said, because he had no evidence of anyone else in that category who had been turned down. Dissenting Judge Harry Pregerson said the court was imposing an unfair burden because employers and recovery organizations keep that information private.

 

Cook said Lopez, now 36, has graduated from college, is raising a family and is employed, though for less pay than the coveted longshore jobs. She said he may appeal the ruling.

 

The ruling can be viewed at links.sfgate.com/ZKWX.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E-mail Bob Egelko at begelko@sfchronicle.com.

 

 

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/03/02/BALI1I2HEN.DTL#ixzz1FY8BYwW4

 

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I'M just thinking that, "does that pertain to the one time drunk, one time murderer-rapist-thief-and so on..?".

 

What if....? we jailed all Government Officials who get caught in a lie, and ban all who have ever lied from serving. Would there be anyone left to choose from? I feel that no Man or Woman, anywhere, can make such a claim. My wife says that I'm much too honest for returning an overpayment. But, wouldn't I expect the same? I guess I have always looked more inward into a person for their Goodness. I use this as a measure, has served me well in choosing my life's path.

 

I read with sadness a dismissal of a dream job, lost by the use of plant substance found in system (7) years earlier. Then, after treatment (like treatment was needed)to still not be employable? We've let murderers out and on the streets in less time. I just don't see the logic.

 

Well I see that we will have to release some of those fictional folks from the above mentioned jail term. OK, all those that only told the little white lies and those that only stretched the truth a little bit are released. WOW, how for do we have to raise the bar to get enough for a vote? Way up even higher before I myself could pass.

 

One day we all will stand in judgment, if at that time in one hand we held this goodness, and in the other we held our bad. Within each of our hearts as a people we must seek to be brought to our knees with the Goodness. Unlike the scale of justice, an even scale, we should seek to tip the scale over on the side goodness of all.

 

This and many more shameful things happen to good people, and justice seems to only come at a cost, so just who is guilt free?

 

Just me rambling, so sorry, for my words can change nothing, but my heart feels his pain.

 

Santas_Helper

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This is so upsetting on so many levels . Especially when you consider all the false positives that occur even with the 50 nanogram limit used in most employment screen's . Those who are around passive vapor can easily not pass a 5 nanogram test(1) . Every Citizen with any understanding of Murphy's Law should see this is not a fair or reasonable course of action creating lifetime penalties that could remove a person from their trade . What inefficiency and ruin for all concerned . Someone can be the best at their trade having decades of experience and be black listed for life . Some will fall victim to false positives and it will be their entire family and community that is effected .

 

The Government pays for years of investigation and hearings on the majority of death penalty cases yet convicted individuals are perpetually found that were wrongly sentenced . Why would anyone think it a reasonable penalty that a individual should loose the ability of practicing their trade anywhere for one positive pre-employment drug test ? All based on one sample often collected without supervision or proper empirical procedure that receives little further investigation nor can society afford to promote it or individuals defend against it .

 

I just cannot understand how people without direct monetary interests , can support this artificially created mess where the penalties outwiegh the harm ? I further can't believe those who benefit financially can support it either . Shouldn't we just ban anyone that ever has a accident ? It always boils down to money and someone trying to take it away from a group they have no desire to be part of , distrust , dislike and are afraid of . Honest , concern and love for your fellow citizens are great asset's , prohibitionist's , and their supporting business partners have perfected how to fake them . The thought of all this reawakens the unpleasant memories of McCarthyism (2) though there wasn't as much money involved testing and rehabilitating alleged American Communists . I believe at one point they estimated about 50,000 citizens were effected in employment through un-american activity hearings at the local level around the Country . It sure was popular and polarizing as long as you saw yourself and were seen by others as a accuser or were left alone to observe the carnage in awe like a Roman at the Colosseum .

 

In 2009 16.7 million Americans 12 and up admitted they used Cannabis in the previous month when surveyed . Everyone of them risked discrimination , loss of employment , education ,normal health care , imprisonment , fines , etc over 70 years into prohibition at a cost of hundreds of billions a year of enforcement action . Obviously this is way higher then Harry Anslingers estimate of 100,000 user's in the 1930's before prohibition (4) . Experts say stress is one of the most dangerous drains on the human condition , personal production , quality of life , mental and physical health . When are medical patients going to get a break and be able to just experience the actual positive effects of Cannabis use on their conditions ? When are otherwise good citizens who simply use Cannabis going to find a toe hold to align with mainstream society over being pushed underground with the outlaw element they have little in common with except for being artificially created criminals ? Good Citizens denied the right of differentiation within self determination while working for the enjoyment of life , liberty and the pursuit of happiness .

 

(1) http://www.drug-testing-kits.com/nida-details.html

(2) http://en.wikipedia....iki/McCarthyism

http://en.wikipedia....ywood_blacklist

http://www.thirdworl...AntiCommun.html

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAhollywood10.htm

(3) http://www.nida.nih..../marijuana.html

(4) http://en.wikipedia....ry_J._Anslinger

Edited by Croppled1
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