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Release Number: 2023-42
Date: May 31, 2023

DIR Reminds Cannabis Employers about Labor Law Requirements

Oakland – The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) reminds cannabis employers that they must comply with California labor law requirements. Labor protections apply to all workers in the cannabis industry, no matter whether they are employed at a licensed or unlicensed cannabis business.

All employers must comply with minimum wage and overtime laws, maintain a valid workers' compensation insurance policy to cover employees and provide safe working conditions for employees. Failure to comply with these and other California labor law requirements can result in citations for unpaid wages or civil penalties, criminal prosecution, or both.

Those with complaints or leads on California labor law violations occurring at cannabis businesses are encouraged to contact DIR's Labor Enforcement Task Force either through email at letf@dir.ca.gov, the LETF referral online form or by calling (855) 297-5322.

The Labor Enforcement Task Force, under the direction of DIR, is a coalition of California State government enforcement agencies, including Cal/OSHA, the Labor Commissioner's Office, the Employment Development Department and the Department of Tax and Fee Administration, that work together and in partnership with local agencies to combat the underground economy and protect workers. This multi-entity collaboration shares information and resources to ensure workers are paid properly and have safe work conditions, and that honest, law-abiding businesses have the opportunity for fair competition. More information on how to file a complaint is posted online.

Cal/OSHA helps protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California. All employers in the cannabis industry must take steps to protect their employees from all health and safety hazards associated with their work. The Cal/OSHA Cannabis Industry Health and Safety Fact Sheet provides information and resources for providing a safe and healthy workplace in the cannabis industry in California.

Employers who have questions or need assistance with workplace health and safety programs can call Cal/OSHA's Consultation Services Branch at 800-963-9424. The Cal/OSHA Consultation Services Branch assists employers, at no cost, through its onsite consultation and a variety of other services.

DIR's Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (known as the California Labor Commissioner's Office) combats wage theft and unfair competition by investigating allegations of California labor law violations. The Labor Commissioner's Office website contains guidance and resources for employers, including fact sheets, frequently asked questions, and live online trainings and workshops.

Media Contact: Communications@dir.ca.gov, (510) 286-1161

Employers with Questions on Requirements May Contact: MakeItFair@dir.ca.gov