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Watch Out California Cannabis Businesses: New Worker Classification Test

Independent contractors can come in very handy for a cannabis business. They may be useful for everything from developing product lines to infrastructure build-out. As a legal matter, correctly classifying workers associated with cannabis businesses as either an independent contractor or an employee is extremely important. Misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor can come with

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Employer Audits for Cannabis Businesses

Audits are not usually met with open arms. More often than not, these invasive exercises sound awkward and even dangerous for a cannabis business. But that should not be the case! In fact, as in other industries, a preemptive employment practices audit can be a cannabis business’s best friend. What is an employment practices audit? 

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Oregon Cannabis Wage and Hour Basics: Final Paychecks

Cannabis businesses, as part of a highly regulated industry, have a lot of rules to follow. In addition to state regulatory rules, cannabis businesses have to follow a multitude of other state and federal laws specific to employment. Among these, the subset of wage and hour laws are particular, fact-specific, and can be some of

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Cannabis Companies and Wage and Hour Laws: Meek v. CNH Labs

We get a lot of questions regarding how to pay employees and the consequences of failing to do so properly. With a few exceptions, if you hire someone to work for your cannabis business, you need to pay them at least minimum wage. Failure to pay employees or to provide required meal and rest breaks

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Washington’s New Equal Pay Law and Cannabis Employees

More and more states are recognizing there is a pay gap between the genders. Washington is the latest state to address the gap through legislation. The near-final law, HB 1506, is commonly referred to as the Equal Pay Act. It is currently awaiting the Governor’s signature, which we can expect any day now. Equal pay laws

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Washington Bans the Box: Hiring Cannabis Employees Just Got Trickier

The Washington Legislature concluded its 2018 Session last week, and joined Oregon and California in “banning the box” when it comes to employment applications. Specifically, Washington’s new law, dubbed the “Fair Chance Act” (the “Act”),  prohibits employers from looking into any criminal history of potential employees at the point an applicant first applies for a job. The

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A Big Win for the LGBT Community and Why it Matters to Cannabis Companies

The Trump administration is known for its hostility to marijuana. It’s also known for its hostility to the LGBT community. In a huge blow to the Trump administration, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last Monday that employers cannot discriminate against employees based on sexual orientation.  Many states, including Oregon, Washington, and California have

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Paying Oregon Cannabis Farm Workers

Cannabis producers make up the largest number of Oregon industry licensees. As of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission’s (OLCC) February 15, 2018 report, there are 922 licensed producers and approximately 1100 producer licenses awaiting approval. In comparison, the next largest license category is retail establishments, with a total of 527 approved licenses and approximately 200 awaiting approval.

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Will California Protect Off-Work Medical Marijuana Use?

Thirty states and the District of Columbia have laws that legalize marijuana for adult recreational use and/or medical use. Many of those states also protect employees’ off-work use of medical marijuana. However, some of those states, including California, Oregon and Washington, have statutes or case law allowing employers to terminate employees for off-work use of