Where There’s Secondhand Marijuana Smoke There Could Legal Fire!; Cal/OSHA Considers Levying Citations Against Cannabis Employers; Could Lead to Bankruptcy

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Loophole for Unwary Employers in the Cannabis Business Could Leave Them Bankrupt
As the marijuana industry flourishes, Labor Code 147.6 mandates that Cal/OSHA begin to explore if specific requirements are needed to address exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke by employees at facilities where on site consumption of marijuana is permitted.
According to Anthony McClaren, Head of Labor and Employment at ADLI Law Group, the outcome of this mandate could result in an employer finding him or herself on the receiving end of an OSHA violation and in a loophole that can put an employer in a very compromising position. “If a cannabis business receives an OSHA violation, this can potentially be converted too easily into a serious and willful workers compensation violation, and thereafter into a hefty and possibly bankrupting negligence claim,” said McClaren. 
McClaren explains that a potential violation can be used as a back door by a plaintiff to depose the employer, obtain a variety of company documents, and get a “sneak peek” into the operations of an employer and leverage any other “dirt,” without having to face the hurdles of the Civil Discovery Act.  
This loophole into discovery could pose a serious threat to employers and leave a company in serious financial trouble. McClaren is available to discuss:
  • What businesses can do to prevent workers compensation claims from becoming civil personal injury claims.
  • Why OSHA regulations on recreational marijuana businesses are being closely watched.
  • Examples of how OSHA violations can bankrupt businesses as a result of this loophole.
  • What all marijuana related businesses need to know to protect themselves from civil claims.
Emerald contributor since March 2012

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