DENVER — Employment lawsuits are increasing in the cannabis industry. Companies can face costly legal action from employees over everything from wage and hour issues to discrimination and sexual harassment, with the latter taking on added significance in the age of #MeToo. What can companies do to ensure a safe and productive working environment for their employees while protecting themselves from employment lawsuits?
Christine Lamb, who heads Fortis’ employment law practice, will provide the lowdown on policies and procedures to protect companies from employment lawsuits at MJBizCon NEXT on Friday, June 14, at 11am. In her session, Lamb will provide insight on creating and implementing policies to prevent complaints related to harassment, wages and hours, leaves of absence and more; drafting an employee handbook; and creating an employee agreement to prevent theft of intellectual property and trade secrets.
“Expert advice on employment policy is much needed in the quickly growing cannabis industry,” Lamb notes. “Amid the chaotic world of startups working in a brand-new industry, the importance of instituting proper human resources protocols often gets overlooked, putting companies at risk of potentially costly and time-consuming litigation right from the start.”
The rise of the #MeToo movement is a welcome trend but has caused a marked increase in allegations of sexual harassment, increasing risks for companies that don’t take proper measures to train employees and protect themselves. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports that sexual harassment complaints have risen by 12% and that these complaints are resulting in higher dollar settlements. Training programs are available, including from the EEOC itself, but they are often booked months in advance, leaving entrepreneurs forced to look elsewhere for advice as they get their companies off the ground.
At her MJBizCon NEXT session, Lamb will offer advice on how to institute strong, clear policies and employee training, and how to go beyond minimum legal requirements by instilling a healthy company culture. Such measures protect not only the company, but also its valued employees. She will also take questions from the audience and address common scenarios.
With nearly three decades of experience representing a wide variety of employers ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies, Lamb regularly counsels companies on personnel policies and manuals, employment agreements, executive compensation, non-compete and trade secret agreements, harassment investigations, hiring, firing, discipline, leaves of absence and disability accommodations. She has defended hundreds of employment lawsuits in both state and federal courts in Colorado and throughout the Rocky Mountain region. She also frequently represents clients before the EEOC.
MJBizCon NEXT is a leading cannabusiness conference bringing together thousands of industry innovators disrupting the cannabis space and hundreds of exhibitors representing all facets of the cannabis industry to share ideas and display cutting-edge technologies. Attendance can lead to new opportunities, partnerships, investments, and jobs in the cannabis industry. MJBizCon NEXT is being held in New Orleans June 12-14.
About Fortis Law Partners
Fortis Law Partners offers broad expertise to help clients achieve effective legal solutions, from the simplest matters to the most challenging business problems. Whether a successful outcome means winning at trial, dismissing a lawsuit, negotiating a settlement, closing a transaction, or just getting thoughtful legal advice, Fortis lawyers get results. Our business-minded problem-solving approach, coupled with a persistent dedication to client service, enables us to create unmatched value. Practices include Commercial Litigation, Corporate / Securities / M&A; Employment Law; Tax;Compliance Programs and Internal Investigations; and Real Estate & Development. For more information, visit FortisLawPartners.com. Continue the conversation on LinkedIn and Facebook.