MedMen Faces Class Action Suit Listing Multiple Employment Law Violations

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The Los Angeles-based company, MedMen, recently completed an acquisition in Emeryville, California and now has one of only two adult-use licenses in the Emeryville area. They are planning further expansion in 2019. The Emeryville dispensary plans to open in East Bay in 2019. In addition to eight other dispensary listings in Southern California, MedMen operates in: Arizona, Nevada (3 locations), and New York (4 locations). The company also holds licenses that give them the power to operate up to 70 facilities in 12 different states. They aggressively support progressive marijuana laws and lead the industry in terms of assets and operations in the U.S.

The company is also facing their fair share of trouble; listed as the defendant in a class action suit filed on behalf of two former employees of the West Hollywood dispensary located at 8208 Santa Monica Boulevard. The class action lawsuit could potentially include about 100 employees (current and former).

The West Hollywood location holds a medical cannabis license has been granted a temporary license to sell recreational marijuana pending the allocation of permanent recreational cannabis licenses that are scheduled for December 18th, 2018. The lawsuit alleges that the business violated a number of employment laws regarding employee work hours, wages and required breaks. For instance, the company required that their workers work overtime hours without paying them overtime wages. The company also allegedly failed to give breaks required by California state employment law. Workers also allege that the company failed to provide accurate payroll records.

The lawsuit holds the potential for fines/payouts to employees totaling $50 for their first pay period during which they were underpaid and $100 for each additional pay period during which they were underpaid. MedMen has faced similar claims of employment law violations in the past. In fact, California MedMen employees have also filed claims that the company made paycheck deductions for tips paid by credit/debit cards. In some cases, the practice even resulted in negative paychecks.

If you are not being paid overtime wages or if you need to discuss California wage and hour law with an experienced California employment law attorney, please get in touch with us at Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP.

Victims of Thomas Fire in California File Class Action Lawsuit Against California Utility

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Nine plaintiffs allege that Southern California Edison, a Southern California utility company, sparked the biggest wildfire the state has seen in modern history. The joint suit cited negligence in regard to the fire ignited on the evening of December 6th, 2017.

The plaintiffs claim that if the utility company had behaved in a responsible manner, the Thomas Fire could possibly have been prevented. According to the lawsuit, negligence was apparent when the company performed construction near a facility without necessary safety precautions and in an unsafe manner that resulted in nearby vegetation catching fire. It was also noted that the company failed to maintain its facilities (both overhead electric and communications) in a safe manner and that Southern California Edison did not remove trees and/or vegetation that was encroaching on space surrounding utility poles.

The lawsuit also lists two other Defendants: Ventura City and the Casitas Municipal Water District citing their failure to have functioning generators available when they were needed that would have been able to help with water pressure during the fire.

The Thomas Fire left destruction in its wake. 242,000 acres were burned through. More than 1,000 structures of various sizes and purposes were destroyed or left with extensive fire damage. And thousands and firefighters and countless resources were required to extinguish the flames. The Thomas wildfire left more than 100,000 Californians displaced – their homes either destroyed or unlivable.

One major problem during the fight to extinguish the fire was a lack of water pressure being supplied to fire hydrants located in hillside neighborhoods and canyons of Ventura. Plaintiffs find it shocking that the City of Ventura failed to have a working backup generator on hand when it was desperately needed.

The utility company declined to comment on the pending lawsuit as the Cal Fire investigation is currently in progress. Ventura City’s Water General Manager expressed his sympathy for those who lost their homes and/or were displaced by the Thomas Fire and added that the city doesn’t comment on pending litigation, but that they did commend both the firefighters and Ventura Water crews for their response during the emergency.

The Municipal Water District also declined to comment citing the pending nature of the litigation. The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary damages.

If you have questions regarding corporate liability, or filing a class action lawsuit in California, please contact one of the experienced employment law attorneys at Blumenthal Nordrehaug Bhowmik De Blouw LLP.