|By PR Newswire||
|April 4, 2014 06:48 PM EDT||
LOS ANGELES, April 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- A case has shed light on labor rights in the medical marijuana industry, says California Labor lawyer Eric Grover.
It's no secret that the medical marijuana business is growing across the nation, as an increasing number of states are legalizing its medical use, with some even permitting recreational consumption. But as these new business ventures begin to pop up across the country, although federal laws still prohibit the sale and use of the herb, employees are left wondering are they still covered by state and federal labor laws?
According to a recent complaint brought before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), medical marijuana dispensary workers do fall under the scope of state and federal labor laws, reveals Eric Grover, a Los Angeles employment lawyer.
The case that brought the issue to light was filed by the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW), which charged Wellness Connection of Maine, the largest dispensary in the state, with engaging in unfair labor practices, like unlawfully disciplining and questioning pro-union employees.
The UFCW also claimed that the business gave "disciplinary warnings" after finding out that several workers had begun organizing as a union, a protected action under labor regulations. In addition, the UFCW contended that employees were "unlawfully interrogated," which "created the impression among the employees that their union activities were under surveillance."
"A lot of people treat the medical marijuana industry as something special, but these are normal workers with normal jobs trying to care for their families and their patients and make their businesses successful," Evan Yeats, a UFCW spokesman, said to the Huffington Post. "There needs to be some way for workers' voices to ensure that the best operators are representing this industry."
Before the NLRB issued the complaint, the Wellness Connection of Maine decided to settle the charges, stating:
"Wellness Connection of Maine (WCM) is pleased to announce that the framework for a settlement has been mutually agreed to between WCM and the National Labor Relations Board, concerning a remaining set of unfair labor practice charges raised by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW). This follows the union's withdrawal of several other charges originally filed with the Board in 2013. Wellness Connection of Maine looks forward to working together with its employees to continue providing the best patient care possible," the company said in a statement.
"For many businesses and workers in the medical and recreational marijuana industry, the parameters for employment rights and protections are blurry, especially as the federal government still considers these types of activities illegal," said Grover, an employment lawyer in Los Angeles. "But as this case has shown, whatever your job you do have rights and should always question suspicious or illegal employment activities by your employer. Speaking up and raising the issue is the only way to protect yourself, when you're unsure of the legality of the actions."
Eric Grover can be contacted for legal assistance in the matter of California employment and labor law by visiting Keller Grover LLP and for Wage & Hour related cases in California at http://www.CAWageHourLaw.com.
Media Contact: Eric Grover, Keller Grover, LLP, 213.493.6345, [email protected]
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SOURCE Keller Grover, LLP
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