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

oregon employment marijuana
Failure to fork out wages can value you — a good deal.

We get a good deal of concerns relating to how to fork out staff members and the penalties of failing to do so thoroughly. With a few exceptions, if you seek the services of an individual to operate for your cannabis company, you want to fork out them at the very least bare minimum wage. Failure to fork out staff members or to present expected meal and rest breaks can appear with hefty fines and civil penalties in Oregon. A recent circumstance filed versus an Oregon marijuana corporation is a terrific illustration of the potential legal responsibility your company could face for failing to fork out staff members.

In a criticism filed in Lane County, Kenneth Meek contends his employer, cannabis corporation CNH Labs, LLC, failed to fork out him any wages. In accordance to the lawsuit, Mr. Meek started out doing the job for CNH Labs in October 2016 prior to CNH Labs staying accredited by the OLCC. The parties experienced an settlement that Mr. Meek would be compensated $1,000 for every 7 days at the time CNH Labs was accredited. In accordance to Mr. Meek, CNH Labs did not commence shelling out him on licensure and did not intend to fork out him until CNH Labs was worthwhile. Mr. Meek’s employment with CNH Labs ended in December 2017 and he subsequently sent CNH Labs a letter demanding payment of the wages. In the long run, Mr. Meek filed fit versus CNH Labs for $65,000 furthermore desire and attorney fees.

Sadly, this kind of simple fact sample is not terribly unheard of in the cannabis marketplace, but it provides up two incredibly significant details:

  1. In Oregon, staff members simply cannot waive their suitable to bare minimum wage. This means, even if your worker agrees to acquire an amount of money fewer than bare minimum wage (or as in Mr. Meek’s circumstance, no wage at all), the worker can nonetheless convey a wage claim afterwards. Thus, the settlement Mr. Meek admits he struck with his employer ought to not hurt his circumstance, assuming the allegations are real.
  2. Mr. Meek’s criticism requests the unpaid wages and penalties below Oregon Wage and Hour Statutes. In Oregon, the penalty for failing to fork out an worker is the employee’s regular price of fork out for 8 hours a day for up to 30 times. In Mr. Meek’s circumstance this is equal to about $4,000. If he prevails, the employer might also be expected to fork out Mr. Meek’s attorney fees. That simple fact alone might be a powerful incentive for CH Labs to settle suitable absent:  in a circumstance like this, attorney fees will exceed the $65,000 claimed by Mr. Meeks, if the circumstance goes to demo.

Whatsoever transpires with this lawsuit, it is worth noting that Mr. Meek’s criticism might also outcome in a Bureau of Labor and Industries (“BOLI”) investigation into CNH Lab’s employment techniques. BOLI has the electrical power to investigate companies to figure out if they are in compliant with Oregon wage and hour rules. Even if Mr. Meek’s promises do not have benefit, BOLI might select to commence an investigation into CNH Lab’s employment techniques, an unpleasant prospect for any company. If BOLI establishes there is a violation, it can challenge civil penalties up to $1,000 for each individual violation.

Mr. Meek’s circumstance is a good illustration of the penalties for failing to the right way fork out staff members. The base line is, make confident you are thoroughly shelling out your staff members and complying with wage and hour rules. If in doubt, it is by no means a negative thought to have an outdoors qualified evaluation your employment techniques.

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