A former employee of Ascend Wellness Holdings, Inc. AAWH is suing the multi-state cannabis operator, arguing she was harassed and discriminated against by management because of her race and then unfairly fired.
What happened: The former Ascend employee states in the lawsuit that her termination and the “hostile work environment she experienced, were motivated in whole or in part by their (the defendants) implicit and explicit biases against Black people,” reported NJ and that the company violated New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination. The lawsuit also alleges that upper-level managers at Ascend “knew or should have known about the violations,” yet allowed the discrimination to occur and indeed participated in it.
The former worker was terminated after two written warnings for violations of attendance and dress code policies. She claims she was unjustly targeted for alleged violations of the policies and that the dress code was disproportionately enforced against Black women.
The defendants deny all allegations and claim to be “without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegations.”
Other details in the lawsuit point to the conduct of white members of the management team, who according to the former worker, insulted and demeaned her and followed her to the bathroom and break rooms.
The complainant is seeking damages in an unspecified amount, in addition to lawyers’ fees.
Ascend Wellness Holdings is also being sued by an ex-employee in Chicago, who alleges she was sexually harassed by a co-worker for months, terminated unfairly and then denied access to the company’s dispensaries for her prescribed medical marijuana.
Cannabis Companies And Litigations Abound
Taking cannabis companies to court seems to be on the rise and it looks like the trend is only warming up.
Most recent litigations include:
Dovel & Luner filed a class action lawsuit against Lowell Farms Inc. LOWLF and Cypress Manufacturing Company on behalf of California consumers who purchased cannabis products with inaccurate THC content labels.
Trulieve TCNNF was recently sued in a federal class action suit for firing workers without cause and without giving advance notice.
Vertical Bliss was ordered to pay $128 million to the state of California for the illegal production of millions of cannabis gummies, following a Los Angeles judge’s ruling.
Curaleaf CURLF was ordered to pay $100,000 to settle one of several class-action lawsuits that resulted from mixing up two very different products – one that contained CBD and the other THC.
C3 International Cannabis Co. was sued By US Securities And Exchange Commission
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