BRENTWOOD — A former employee of MobilityWorks in Londonderry has filed a lawsuit alleging he was effectively fired because he refused to stop using medical marijuana to treat his post-traumatic stress disorder.
Scott Paine of Milford is suing for wrongful termination after he claims he was let go on Sept. 18, 2018.
He accuses the company of violating his rights, disability discrimination, failing to provide reasonable accommodation, retaliation, and being discharged in violation of public policy allowing residents to use marijuana for therapeutic purposes.
Among other things, Paine is seeking to be reinstated or be awarded lost earnings.
According to the suit filed in Rockingham County Superior Court, Paine was employed as an automotive detailer at the company’s Londonderry location at 54 Wentworth Ave.
MobilityWorks is a national chain that provides wheelchair accessible vans.
Paine claims he has suffered from PTSD for nearly 20 years and that it is partly the result of his experiences when he served as a contractor for U.S. military and intelligence agencies.
The suit said his PTSD “substantially limits him in the major life activity of brain function” and prompted his doctor to prescribe medical marijuana as a form of treatment in July 2018.
Paine became legally enrolled in the state’s Therapeutic Cannabis Program and began using marijuana “consistent with the requirements of New Hampshire state law,” the suit said.
He notified the company of his enrollment in the program and provided a written request for “reasonable accommodation regarding his use of cannabis,” the suit said.
According to the suit, Paine was informed by the company on Sept. 7, 2018, that his request for accommodation was denied because his position is considered “safety sensitive” as he moves vehicles on the property.
In response, the suit said, Paine sent an email making clear that he wasn’t seeking permission to use or possess marijuana during work hours. He also maintained that his use outside of work doesn’t prevent him from safely driving a vehicle while working.
“He was merely asking, as an accommodation, that MobilityWorks continue to employ him even if he failed a drug test due to his use of cannabis,” the suit said.
Paine alleges the company told him that he couldn’t work there if he used marijuana and “advised him to ask his doctor to prescribe treatment other than cannabis.”
While he argues he was fired, Paine claims the company has characterized his departure as a resignation.
A representative from MobilityWorks could not be reached for comment Friday.