Woman Sues Spectrum Health After Revealing Marijuana Use to Employer
A former West Michigan woman is suing Spectrum Health Systems after getting fired from her job. Allegedly, a doctor on staff told her employer she smoked marijuana.
MLive reports that Lisa Richlich used to work at Gentex Corp in Zeeland before getting fired in April of 2015. Richlich was granted medical leave for a period of time between March and April [of last year] after getting neck surgery.
The neurosurgeon who granted her the leave had to write a medical certification to her employer, but he left notes regarding her medical history. In the lawsuit it states:
Plaintiff's medical history disclosed that she 'uses illicit drugs (marijuana) about five times per week.'
Richlich says she was prescribed a medical marijuana card in 2014 for chronic pain but has barely used it. Her attorney says that the doctor violated HIPAA laws by providing her medical history in the certification.
Richlich was given a drug test, by Gentex, two weeks after her surgery, for violating their substance abuse policy. It came back negative but she was given a severance to resign instead. She has contacted Spectrum Health several times to make the change in her history regarding her marijuana use from 5x/week to only rarely and to notify her company. However, they did not make the change so she filed a federal lawsuit.
Spectrum Health is being sued for negligence and for invading the defendant's privacy, including emotional distress. The lawsuit was just filed last week at the U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids.
Since leaving Gentex Corp, Richlich has since moved to Wisconsin.