July 22, 2024

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NYC bus company fires workers for legal, medical pot use

4 min read
NYC bus company fires workers for legal, medical pot use

5 supervisors at a city bus sightseeing company declare they were wrongfully fired for legal and medical cannabis use, new court papers present.

The workforce, all field supervisors at Topview Sight Seeing, say they were being just about every canned on Feb. 17 past year soon after the corporation carried out marijuana drug exams for the first time – inspite of the truth that none of them drive buses, in accordance to a Manhattan Supreme Court docket lawsuit from Monday.

The employees – Randy Culbert, Stevenson Baptiste, Dazrone Peak, Rodney Ferrel and Tara Strickland – claim the enterprise understood they all utilized weed and, for at the very least 3 yrs prior, had in no way demanded non-bus drivers to be drug analyzed, the filing alleges. Their time at Topview ranged from three months to a few decades.

When cannabis was legalized in New York in March 2021, section of the law barred employers from drug screening staff for weed with a several exceptions.


Randy Culbert
Randy Culbert states he used pot gummies to aid him snooze immediately after a medical procedures and he got fired by the business.

On Dec. 18 Topview claimed they would start the drug screening beginning on Feb. 1, but the plaintiffs claim that, other than drivers, they ended up the only staff who obtained screened, in accordance to the lawsuit.

Topview “discriminated against plaintiffs by necessitating only them to endure marijuana drug screening,” the match prices.

The industry supervisors declare the drug exam was a pretext to get them all fired considering that the firm currently knew they all utilised pot.


Rodney Ferrell
Rodney Ferrell says he hardly ever smoked at perform and he was unfairly fired adhering to a drug examination.

The corporation “utilized the drug tests as a pretext to terminate the [plaintiffs], when the genuine reason for their termination was primarily based on their protected courses,” the fit claims, noting that just one was disabled and the others ended up all black.

Culbert experienced undergone coronary heart medical procedures in November 2021 and was using CBD gummies, which experienced THC in them, at night to support him drop asleep, the court papers condition.

Despite the surgical procedure, the business worked Culbert to the bone scheduling him eight times in a row with only 1 day off in amongst on many situations subsequent the procedure, the go well with alleges.


Go New York Tour Bus.
3 of the personnel were offered their work opportunities back again immediately after their law firm contacted Topview, the go well with states.
David McGlynn

At one position Culbert requested, “What are you hoping to do, destroy me?” the filing claims.

“I experienced a coronary heart assault and took CBD gummies to assistance me snooze just after my surgical treatment,” Culbert stated in a statement. “My employer purchased me to consider a tox screening, I analyzed constructive for THC and was fired.”

Strickland, in the meantime, experienced a professional medical marijuana card approved by her health practitioner – and even however she showed the enterprise the card, they even now pressured her to choose the drug examination, the accommodate statements.

Bus drivers are needed by the Department of Transportation to be drug examined, the submitting states. But Topview did not have a drug plan and carried out “unlawful drug testing” on the supervisors, in accordance to the lawsuit.

3 of the workers were supplied their jobs again soon after their lawyer contacted Topview, the fit states.

But Topview did not supply to give Ferrell his work back and Culbert didn’t settle for the rehire provide, frightened “he would be focused and terminated for an additional pretextual reason,” the lawsuit alleges.

“I hardly ever smoked at function, only right after work and in my house,” Ferrell claimed in a statement. “They tested us and then fired us, 4 months after I started out.”


Go New York Tours bus.
The 5 employees claim the drug tests ended up unlawful.
Chad Rachman/New York Put up

The plaintiffs are suing Topview and Southeast Staff Leasing, Inc – which handles HR for the company– for at minimum $750,000 in damages.

“On March 31, 2021, New York legalized recreational use outside of get the job done,” plaintiff attorney Bradley Siegel told The Publish. “Employers are not authorized to test, with handful of exceptions.

“Our customers had been unlawfully tested and terminated. Even though we were equipped to get them reinstated, they were out of work for about 19 weeks,” Siegel claimed.

Maurice Ross who represents Go New York Excursions – the registered identify for Topview – told The Put up: “Safety is vital to Go New York Excursions that supports and operates buses that carry hundreds of passengers every single working day.

“And we are not able to tolerate staff members who are in positions where by security is crucial who use marijuana,” he continued.

“It’s a security worry,” Ross claimed. “We are working buses on the streets of New York and any actions we have taken have been for the function of preserving the basic safety of our shoppers.”

Siegel responded: “”This case has almost nothing to do with protection, none of the plaintiffs travel or work the buses.”

Last 7 days, former park ranger Nicholas Aponte submitted a lawsuit proclaiming he was fired from his occupation in Islip and denied positions in regulation enforcement only for texting his spouse not to smoke as well substantially with her mother – who has a health care cannabis license. He is suing the condition, the New York City and Islip.

Extra reporting by Joyce Cohen

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