Seattle’s Cannabis Workforce Shield: New Law Safeguards Jobs and Equity in the Industry

Seattle’s <a rel="nofollow" title="Cannabis" href="">Cannabis</a> Workforce Shield: New Law Safeguards Jobs and Equity in the <a href="" class="st_tag internal_tag " rel="tag" title="Posts tagged with Industry">Industry</a>

Cannabis Job Protection Initiative Becomes Reality in Seattle

In a significant development, Seattle’s latest legislation related to cannabis has officially come into force, nearly a year after its by Mayor Bruce Harnell. Co-authored by Mayor Harrell and Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (D), who sponsored the bill within the Council, this new law stands as a cornerstone of a comprehensive set of measures aimed at enhancing equity within the cannabis sector.

Crafted under the guidance of Office of Labor Standards Director Steven Marchese, the “Cannabis Job Retention Ordinance” is designed to fortify the employment of individuals working in the cannabis industry. Director Marchese, in a release accompanying the announcement, highlighted the ordinance’s role in fostering a stable work , a resilient workforce, and a healthier overall economic landscape in Seattle.

After careful deliberation earlier this month, the definitive guidelines and timeframes for the implementation of the legislation were solidified.

The newly introduced legislation, titled “Cannabis Employee Job Retention,” has been seamlessly integrated into Seattle’s Municipal Code as Chapter 8.38. This framework serves to safeguard employees within the cannabis industry in situations where their employer undergoes a change of ownership or transfer.

Embedded within the legislation is the concept of a “preferential hiring list,” which operates on the principle of “seniority,” offering a safeguard for ordinary employees in the event of management transitions.

The law explicitly that employers are mandated to adhere to “seniority-based hiring within each job classification, to the extent that such comparable classifications exist.” This stipulation against external hiring from outside this industry-specific list remains in force for a substantial 180-day period following any alteration in management.

Crucially, these protections extend to every individual employed by a licensed dispensary, regardless of their role or capacity.

The definition of seniority, however, is somewhat nebulous. The legislation outlines seniority as being “determined by the employee’s seniority within their most recent job classification.” It does not, however, provide specific criteria for establishing this job classification.

As a fallback option, a union-like determination is available, determined by “the employee’s date of hire.” This information is required to be furnished by the outgoing employer before any ownership or management shift takes place.

An additional layer of protection is granted to industry employees through this innovative legal code.

Should they accept an offer, an offer that is likely to be extended given the prohibition on hiring from outside the preferential list, employers are obliged to retain the employee for a minimum of 90 days.

The legislation does account for exceptions, allowing for terminations based on ‘just cause.’

Cody Funderburk, a respected figure in the cannabis industry as a professional and activist, and a former member of the local cannabis union UFCW 3000, praised the “Cannabis Employee Job Retention Ordinance” as a monumental step towards safeguarding the rights of those working within the sector.

Already in effect for all across the city, this groundbreaking law promises to reshape the landscape of job security and equity in Seattle’s burgeoning cannabis industry.

Malvin Felix
I'm Malvin, a cannabis news enthusiast who finds joy in staying updated about the latest industry trends. My passion led me to become a dedicated writer, entrepreneur, and investor in the cannabis space. Through my writing, I aim to educate and spark discussions, while my entrepreneurial ventures and strategic investments reflect my commitment to driving positive change in the industry.

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