Worker wins benefits coverage for medical marijuana

Private welfare plan’s refusal to cover prescribed drug placed him at a disadvantage to other beneficiaries because of his disability
By Jeffrey R. Smith
|Canadian Employment Law Today|Last Updated: 05/24/2017

A Nova Scotia benefits plan discriminated against a disabled worker when it denied coverage of medical marijuana prescribed to the worker by a doctor and supported by medical evidence of its positive effects, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission has ruled.

Gordon Skinner was an elevator mechanic at the Dartmouth, N.S., office of ThyssenKrupp Elevator Canada, a Toronto-based elevator company.

On Aug. 13, 2010, Skinner was in a motor vehicle accident while working. The injuries he suffered led to chronic pain as well as anxiety and depressive disorders, to the point where he was no longer able to work and received permanent impairment benefits.